I was rather hoping for a happy ending to this story. I found this little hedgehog yesterday on our village green. The grass had been cut a few days earlier and was lying around in clumps, hedgehog was snuggled in amongst it, looking like it had just dozed off. On closer inspection I saw it was breathing, but a spot of blood on it's nose was evidence that it had been injured.
I couldn't just leave it there, so I went home and got a box, and gently picked it up and carefully put it in the new bed, taking some of the grass with it. I found a number in the Yellow Pages (phone book), for a hedgehog rescue, and spoke to a lady in Lincolnshire. She then put me in touch with a local gentleman who looks after sick hedgehogs. He told me which vet he uses so I rang and made an appointment. Forty minutes later I arrived at the surgery.
I was hoping the damage wasn't too bad, and little hedgehog could be nursed back to full health. The lady vet checked him out, his breathing had become a little bit laboured, he was struggling. She showed me the side of his head, it was swollen, signs of a glancing blow with a passing car. He made no attempt to curl up into a ball, a hedgehogs natural defence mechanism. Sadly the verdict was that he was not going to make it, and the decision was made to give him a peacefull ending. Poor little hedgehog.
Please lower your speed a little when driving around at night. I know it isn't always possible to see them or avoid them, they scuttle across the road oblivious to the dangers. We need our hedgehogs, they are good for our gardens. If you want to feed them, they like cat food. I often put some out in my back garden, it's lovely to watch them come out and tuck in to a good meal. Be aware of them if you are dog walking at night, if you see them in the road stay with them, gently usher them across. Pick them up and put them in a hedge bottom if you have to. Do your best, keep a look out for our prickly friends.
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