Tonight, I received a phone call from my daughter. Her boyfriend’s family had spotted a very small hedgehog in their garden earlier in the day, when it was light, and it was still around. They have given it some meaty cat food and water, which was exactly the right thing to do… never give bread or milk. They were concerned and rightly so…. any hedgehog seen out in the day, especially when they are this small needs help! I drove straight over and we located him up behind their gate. He was tiny… small enough to fit in the palm of my hand and way too small to be out on his own. Although he looked ok, I knew he was too small to be alone and I popped him in a shoe box and brought him home. Straight away, I rang my friend and hedgehog expert, Joan, at West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue. She confirmed that this little chap, weighing just 120g, was too young and small to be left out. He needed to be bought into the centre, fed up until he was at least 3x the size before release. I put in some hedgehog food I have for my wild hedgehogs and he was soon tucking into the Spikes semi-moist and a few mealworms. He also drank quite a lot from a saucer and then a small bottle top I put in, filled with water. I then prepared a cat basket with some bedding, more food and water and left him in the quiet. Tomorrow, I will take him up to Joan to look after until he is ready to go back into the wild. I took a little video of him tucking into some food….
With the drastic drop in hedgehog numbers here in the UK, every single hedgehog is precious…. so remember if you ever see one out in daylight, particularly in this hot weather, then PLEASE put some meaty cat food out and some water and contact a local Rescue Centre ASAP. If it is as tiny as this one is, and it is out, in daylight, on a very hot day, then it is definitely in need of help. I think we have caught this hedgehog in time, as he was pretty alert and ate and drank well. Another day out in this heat and the story may not have been so positive.