Information on when and how to rescue a hedgehog.
A hedgehog, like any other wild animal, must only be taken and rescued if it
is in difficulty or in immediate danger. Use gloves when handling.
Contact a qualified centre immediately for advice.
How can we tell if a hedgehog is in trouble?
Sometimes hedgehogs will scuttle away and hide as soon as they sense any human activity nearby. They do not always run away or hide when meeting a human. They may freeze, lower their head into a ball, and hiss. It's perfectly normal too. They are able to stay in that position for an hour if you keep standing there.
After this, If they don't move away or try to hide this can be a clear sign that something is not right.
They are also very nocturnal animals so if found during the day they can often be in difficulty.
But not always.
It could be a mother out looking for food or a hedgehog which, having been disturbed, is now looking for a new and safer refuge.
When ill they may appear to be walking very slowly or strangely (drunk) or wandering aimlessly.
ALWAY RESCUE THE FOLLOWING
- a collapsed hedgehog
- a hedgehog that walks unsteadily (as if drunk)
- a wounded or visibly sick hedgehog
- a hedgehog in danger (fallen into ponds or deep holes; found near roads; in places where there are poisons, slug pellets; in the presence of dogs; entangled in nets or trapped anywhere.
- a hedgehog with numerous ticks this is a symptom of other potential health issues.
- a small or newborn hedgehog (only if you are sure that the mother is not nearby).
- a hedgehog too small to survive winter under 250/300 grams. As winter comes near (at this weight it will not have accumulated enough fat necessary for hibernation).
Rescue these immediately and contact a rescue centre. Click button for contact details.
Hedgehog rescue kit
High sided box
Warm water bottle
Tee shirt or cloth
Questo riccio collassato ha
Most of the time (90%) when a hedgehog is found in danger or collapsed, it is hypothermic, that is, cold.
In this case, warm-up gently. Simply place it beside a plastic bottle with hot water wrapped in a fleece or fabric that does not lose threads before making food or water available.
Keep checking the bottle is warm every hour since as it cools this could make the hedgehog cold again.
Absolutely never try to give water or food until it is back to normal temperature.
The hedgehog could easily die.
Normal body temperature is 35 °C.
Normally any hedgehog, seen from above, should have a rounded shape. If it has hollow hips it is certainly in trouble with serious health issues (parasites, dehydration, infection).
Always use gloves when handling. Always wash your hands after contact with any wild animal.