Let me introduce our new friend as of last week, a hedgehog who is now called Roberta :) I was sitting outside in the garden and heard rustling in the bamboo behind me, thought it was one of our cats. When I looked round I saw this hedgehog lying in the sun. So I called my Real Life Hero and he informed me this is not a good sign.... :( I looked online and found the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website. Oh my, what a great resource it is, and what lovely people run it and volunteer all over the country to help out with our wildlife hedgehogs.
We followed the instructions and got the hedgehog in a nice warm place with cat food and water, both of which it availed of, as you can see in the photo! Good sign. We noticed it was dragging one of its back legs and we assumed that was the issue. I rang the number on the British hedgehog preservation Society website and had a good chat, and the lady there made sure we were doing everything right – which thankfully we were - and then gave me the number of our local volunteer.
So I rang this second lovely lady called Stephanie and she went through everything with me and then arranged for my local vet to receive it from us, where it would be looked after until she could pick it up in a couple of hours. So my Real Life Hero transfers the poor little thing to a cardboard box (that he’d made air holes in) and headed off at a pace...
We didn’t really expect to hear any more about it but the next day Stephanie rang me back and informed me that our hedgehog was a lady of seven years (which apparently is a long life for a hedgehog!) and her back leg injury was quite old, healed, and she'd obviously been managing despite it. She had some other health issues (and would have died within a few days if we hadn’t taken action) so she is going to live with Stephanie for three weeks, being cared for every day, then she will be transferred to an enclosed garden (given her age) at a volunteers for her “retirement.” Stephanie asked me to name the hedgehog and I named it after a dear friend and lovely lady who does all sorts of animal rescue herself (and who may see this on Facebook ;)
I didn’t know much about hedgehogs so this was quite an adventure for me! I told Stephanie we’d seen some smaller hedgehogs when we first moved into this house and she said they were probably Roberta’s offspring. Apparently hedgehogs (after about eight weeks old) become hermit type creatures and pretty much live on their own apart from mating season. I had no clue!
Anyway, happy ending, Roberta is now living in the lap of luxury in her retirement. Big thanks to the Hedgehog Preservation Society!