I’ve found an injured hedgehog, who should I call?
If you have found a hedgehog you’re concerned about, you should call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890 801 or your local wildlife centre as quickly as possible. An online search along the lines of “wildlife rescue centre near me” should give you the information you need. You can also contact the RSPCA in England and Wales, Scottish SPCA in Scotland or USPCA in Northern Ireland for advice.
If you can’t get through or you’re worried the hedgehog’s injuries may be life-threatening then please call your local veterinary practice or, if it’s at night or on the weekend, your nearest Vets Now pet emergency clinic.
When should I move an injured hedgehog?
If you find an injured hedgehog, your first step should be to call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society or your local wildlife centre as they will be able to advise you on what to do. If you are advised to move the hedgehog you should:
- Line a cardboard box with a towel or scrunched-up newspaper
- Fill a hot water bottle with warm tap water and wrap it in a towel
- Place the hot water bottle and towel into the box, making sure there is room for the hedgehog to move away from the hot water bottle if they want to
- Use suitable gloves to gently lift the hedgehog into the box
How do I handle a baby hedgehog?
If you need to handle a baby hedgehog, for example, if it is injured or in immediate danger, use thick gloves to gently pick it up and place it in a well-ventilated cardboard box lined with a towel. A hot water bottle filled with warm tap water and wrapped in a towel should be placed in the box and should not be allowed to go cold. Avoid handling the hoglet as much as possible in order to keep it wild.
I’ve found a baby hedgehog, is it safe?
Baby hedgehogs, also known as hoglets, can often survive on their own. However, a hoglet needs help if:
- It is in immediate danger, such as from traffic or predators
- The mother has been killed
- It weighs less than 300 grams as it won’t have enough fat reserves to survive the winter
- Its eyes are closed and it is alone (or the mother has been killed)
How do I know if a baby hedgehog needs my help?
If you see an uninjured baby hedgehog, wait for a while and watch them from an appropriate distance to see whether it leaves the area. If it doesn’t leave the area then it might need help.
I’ve found a hedgehog in daytime, is it safe?
Hedgehogs are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and come out at night. On rare occasions, hedgehogs may be seen during the day, for example when building nests. These hedgehogs will only be out for a short time and will clearly be dedicated to completing their task.
If you spot a hedgehog during the day and it is not showing signs of activity, it’s likely that something is wrong. If you come across a hedgehog out in the daytime and suspect that it is injured or unwell, contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society or your local wildlife rescue centre.
Before you decide to move a hedgehog during the day, look around for a nest to make sure you’re not taking a mother away from her babies.
I have a hedgehog in my garden, what do I do?
Hedgehogs will do no harm to your garden. In fact, they are known as “gardener’s friend” due to their fondness for eating garden pests like slugs, snails and insects. Many people choose to make their gardens as hedgehog-friendly as possible by removing potential hazards and leaving food and water for them.
If possible, keep dogs on a lead when there is a hedgehog in your garden. Even the friendliest of dogs might be tempted to investigate the spikey visitor, causing injury to the hedgehog and themselves.