At around 2pm on Saturday (Nov. 14th), I was sitting on the sofa reading, Em was in the kitchen doing some washing when suddenly Em said to me “there’s a hedgehog in the garden”. Okay, not that significant you might think, but if you know ANYTHING about hedgehogs (and as we have several visiting our garden we’ve read up and are familiar with hedgehog antics) you’ll know that seeing a hedgehog (a nocturnal creature) out in daylight is NOT good.
The weather was quite horrible. It was raining and the light was dimming (even at 2pm, yes!), but still, a hedgehog shouldn’t really be seen out before dusk.
Em gloved up, went outside and retrieved the poor little mite. We initially had the poor little fella/miss in a cardboard box.
I searched the ‘net for a number of our nearest hedgehog rescue centre. There was one near us, but I couldn’t get through. The line was busy every time a tried. I tried a couple of others, but they went to a recorded message. Then I tried one at Leighton Buzzard, a little further away for us, but I got to speak to a real person.
Her name is Jacqui and she was VERY helpful with advice on how to care for the little one until we could get to her.
We weren’t able to borrow a car until Sunday, so we kept the little hoggie with us in doors overnight. We transfered the hog into Chris’ carrier and put a cushion and some wheat pillows in there. We gave the hog food and water. We gave it wet food at first, but then tried some dry food and it ate some of that.
The water bowl was a bit too big, and the poor little tyke ended up sitting in there getting wet and cold. So we got a smaller dish to put water in, cleaned out the carrier as the poor little thing had pooped quite a bit and it was a bit runny so a change of towel was needed and change of wheat pillow. We also kept up supplying the dry food.
Chris was getting curious so we had to put the poor little thing in the bathroom overnight. I called Jacqui on Sunday morning to arrange a time to come over. We got there just after 11.30am. Jacqui inspected the hog straight away. It had two ticks on it (which she removed with special tick removing tweezers) and she also gave the little lady (as it turned out) a milky glucose drink to help rehydrate her. Then she put her in the little cage she’d be staying in during her recovery. There was a bowl of food in there topped with meal worms. Hilda (as we decided to name her – as Jacqui asks people to name the hog that comes into her care) went STRAIGHT for the food and she hoovered up ALL the meal worms.
Jacqui did say though that Hilda only has a 50/50 chance of surviving. We’d weighed her on the Saturday when we found her and she only weighed 265 grams. Half the weight a hog needs to be to be healthy enough to hibernate. She could recover quickly and look like she’s fit and well after 48/72 hours, then 24 hours later could crash and die. She’s had it happen to hogs before, so it will be touch and go for her.
Jacqui will keep us informed of Hilda’s progress and if she takes a turn for the worse she’ll let us know straight away. It will be about a week before Hilda fully recovers and puts on enough weight to come home.
And that’s the best part. If all goes well, Hilda survives, and puts on the weight required, we can collect her and bring her home 🙂
We have our fingers and toes crossed for her.
She’d get a bit frustrated from time to time being enclosed in the carrier and let her thoughts be known. Here is a bit of footage of her protesting! Poor little love 🙂