A Horsham based animal charity has been inundated with young, under-weight hedgehogs.
The mild autumn weather has led to many female hedgehogs having three litters this year rather than two, meaning the younger hedgehogs won’t have time to gain enough weight to survive hibernation.
Tarnya Knight, wildlife carer for Care for the Wild, based in Horsham, is currently nursing over 30 young hogs – double the number she normally sees at this time of year.
“It’s gone a bit crazy but it’s mainly due to the mild weather we’ve been having. All these extra babies are growing up, but by this time of year they will struggle to eat as much as they need. If they are too small at this point, then once they hibernate there won’t be enough fat on their bodies to survive – so they’ll simply die.
“I’ll nurse as many as I can through the winter, and will then release them back into the wild come spring. We’ve just picked up a young fella who is no more than 260g, so he definitely wouldn’t have made it. But any hog that is less than 600g right now will need rescuing, as will any hedgehog seen out during the daytime, as this means they are desperately searching for food, or are ill.”
Anyone finding an underweight or sick hog in the Horsham area can get advice from Care for the Wild on 01403 249832 or call your local vet or wildlife rescue centre. Care for the Wild’s work with UK Wildlife can be supported by donations or by adopting Herbert the Hedgehog at www.careforthewild.com/animals-adoptions/