Food plea as wildlife charity sees ‘spike’ in orphaned hedgehogs

Influx of hedgehogs at Care for the Wild SUS-141209-125822001
Influx of hedgehogs at Care for the Wild SUS-141209-125822001

A wildlife charity which has seen an increase in the number of under-weight, orphaned and sick hedgehogs it is looking after is making a plea for food to help them through the winter.

Horsham based Care for the Wild are currently looking after 15 hedgehogs, and are expecting many more, particularly ‘autumn juveniles’ which are young hogs who are not big enough to survive hibernation.

Tarnya Knight, Care for the Wild’s Wildlife Carer, said: “We always get more hedgehogs at this time of the year, particularly the Autumn Juveniles who basically won’t make it through the winter without help.

“For whatever reason, they haven’t got enough weight on them to hibernate. These little guys will have to be looked after inside and hopefully they’ll reach a good weight so they can hibernate. All being well we’ll be able to release them in the Spring.

“We’re also seeing an increase in the number of injured and sick hedgehogs coming in. We’ll always be ready to welcome and help them, but we’re getting a bit stretched when it comes to feeding them! So if anyone can donate some food for them – cat food is ideal – then we’d be very grateful!”

Hedgehogs are very happy eating cat food, particularly meat based cat food and cat biscuits (not fish or gravy).

Anyone wishing to donate can take food directly to the Care for the Wild office at 72 Brighton Road, Horsham (office hours), or leave it in the Care for the Wild bin at Gatleys Pet Centre, next to Hilliers Garden Centre, Brighton Road, Horsham.

People can also donate online using Care for the Wild’s Amazon Wishlist here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/registry/wishlist/?ie=UTF8&cid=A1ROQPHBLJM5WV

Report and pictures contributed by Care for the Wild.