The RSPCA is bracing itself for a ‘hectic hedgehog’ month as calls increase throughout July.
This time last year, the South East region received 231 calls concerning the spikey creatures, who’s numbers peaked last July.
From a total of 10,644 calls made to the RSPCA’s national helpline throughout last year, concerning hedgehogs, it means on average they had a call every hour of every day relating to the animals.
Across 2018, an average of 5.7 hedgehogs a day were admitted to one of the charity’s four specialist wildlife centres, but in the peak month of July, this rose to an average of 12.4 per day or one every two hours.
RSPCA Wildlife Scientific Officer Evie Button said:
“We receive more calls about hedgehogs than about almost any other wild animal. With a total of 10,644 calls taken last year, averaged out, we get a call every hour of every day relating to these iconic animals.July is our busiest month for hedgehogs. Not only do calls about hedgehogs peak, but so do admissions to our four wildlife centres as members of the public and our own officers bring in orphaned, sick or injured animals for treatment and rehabilitation.”
Some of the top reasons given by callers for contacting the animal charity were:
- They had found either a sick or injured animal (6067)
- Orphaned newborn or juvenile (1252)
- Trapped or entangled (449)
“Because we get so many calls about injured or trapped animals we have some useful tips to help keep hedgehogs safe in the garden. Please remember to remove sports and fruit netting, cover drains and holes, check before using a strimmer or mower, look in compost heaps before forking over and avoid using slug pellets as these are poisonous to hedgehogs.”
“We also receive calls from concerned members of the public who have seen a baby hedgehog – a hoglet – on its own. Our advice is firstly to check whether they actually need rescuing, by watching from a distance. Generally, it’s best to leave them alone, but there are a few things you can do to check if the hoglet does need help. If their eyes are open and they’re not in immediate danger, monitor from a distance. If you’re concerned, you can try offering food and fresh water.”
More details on what to do if you find a sick, injured or orphaned hedgehog as well as how to help them in your garden, can be found on the RSPCA’s website.
To help the RSPCA rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals, please visit www.rspca.org.uk/give