Ideally, the best course of action is to call a professional to help; hedgehogs are wild animals and will bite or scratch when stressed or ill.
However, we recognise that this may not always be possible and some situations will require immediate action. We have put together this brief guidance to help protect yourself and the hedgehog you are trying to help.
Remember, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust cannot take in ill or injured hedgehogs, so please don’t delay treatment by contacting us in an emergency situation. Please contact one of the local wildlife or hedgehog rescue centres directly, details of which we’ve made available below.
|Contact the Professionals||If dealing with an emergency, such as a road casualty it may be necessary to contact or take the hedgehog directly to a local vet. In all other situations contact a local rescue centre for advice on what to do in your particular situation. (Contact list below).|
|Stay Calm and Quiet||It is important that you remain calm and quiet when approaching any wild animal. Avoid talking to the hedgehog or making eye contact. Hedgehogs are wild animals and will not realise that you are trying to help it, perceiving you as a giant predator. As with any wild animal, they are highly susceptible to stress and may go into potentially fatal shock, particularly when being handled whilst sick or injured.|
|Avoid Direct Contact||To pick up or move a hedgehog in need of help please avoid direct contact – this will protect you and the hedgehog. Use gardening gloves, a towel or other item of clothing to pick it up and move it.|
|Create a Safe Space||A pet carrier or a cardboard box lined with newspaper and with a good air supply will contain your casualty temporarily (avoid plastic boxes as these do not breathe well and heat up quickly). A hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, plus extra towels (without looped washing instructions which may tangle around a foot or toe), will be useful to help regulate their body temperature and cushion an injured or sick hedgehog or hoglet – but be careful the box does not become too warm.|
If not immediately transporting the hedgehog to emergency care, place the box into a quiet, dark room. It may be tempting to keep ‘checking’ the casualty, but do not disturb it unless asked to do so – as with any wild animal, they are highly susceptible to stress and may go into potentially fatal shock especially when already ill or injured.
|Kindness Can Kill||Don’t be tempted to try to care for the hedgehog yourself – although your intentions may be good, they need expert help.|
Wild Hogs Hedgehog Rescue
www.wildhogshedgehogrescue.org.uk / firstname.lastname@example.org / 01452 740684 / 07949 976717 (mobile for emergencies) / Old Bakery Cottage, The Street, Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire, GL2 7EA
Help a Hedgehog Hospital
helpahedgehog.org / email@example.com / 01453 886 424 / Help a Hedgehog Hospital, Ardmore, Bourne Lane, Brimscombe, Gloucestershire, GL5 2R
You can also contact:
Remember, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust cannot take in ill or injured hedgehogs, so please don’t delay treatment by contacting us in an emergency situation. Please contact one of the above local wildlife or hedgehog rescue centres.