hedgehog admissions RSPCA Stapeley

Stapeley RSPCA wildlife centre in Nantwich has had a record year in hedgehog admissions, with more than 897 being treated at the centre in 2019.

Stapeley Grange on London Road has seen a 47% increase in the number of hedgehogs at the London Road centre since last year.

Lee Stewart, manager of Stapeley Grange, said: “The number of hedgehogs we have been caring for this year is incredible and when I last counted we have had 897 admitted this year.

“It’s an awful lot of work for our staff and volunteers to rehabilitate so many hedgehogs and the amount of dog food we are getting through to feed them is eye-watering!

“We want to make sure we do the very best for the hedgehogs that come into our care and get them fit and healthy enough to return back to the wild where they belong – we like to return them back to where they were rescued.

“Members of the public are usually delighted to have their prickly friends back and will often drive miles to pick them up themselves which is fantastic.

“We are always grateful to the public who show so much care and kindness to our wildlife.”

hedgehog admissionsMost hedgehogs receiving care are usually cold, underweight, wobbly, dehydrated, collapsed and hungry when they arrive at the centre.

On arrival hedgehogs will be checked, weighed, given warmth either by a heat mat or a snuggle safe, food, antibiotics if needed and fluids if dehydrated.

At this time of year all hedgehogs are de-wormed too.

As the hedgehogs put on weight they move from the centre’s ‘orphan room’ into individual holding bays.

All the while they still require feeding, and their accommodation cleaned out.

If you find a sick hedgehog in the daytime, advice is to give it warmth – such as a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel – and offer it pet food or scrambled egg straight away and bring them to the centre.

If a hedgehog gets too cold, their chances of recovery reduces.

Public can help by putting a bowl of dog or cat food (not fish-based) in gardens and help hedgehogs gain weight for when the weather is cold enough for them to hibernate.

Hedgehogs often wake up during hibernation when it is mild weather, forage for food and then go back to sleep once the temperature drops again.

It is also important to give them easy access to fresh water, not milk.

For more details on what to do if you find a sick, injured or orphaned hedgehogs as well as how to help them in your garden, can be found on the RSPCA’s website.

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