What we do to Help Hedgehogs

Because of concern for the declining hedgehog population, Woodlands Animal Sanctuary started caring for sick and injured hedgehogs in 2005. Since that time we have seen admittances increase from a handful to several hundred per year.

Our Hedgehog Unit

In 2015 we opened a dedicated hedgehog facility, which enables to us care for over 80 hedgehogs at any one time in heated pens.

In 2015 we over wintered 150 Hedgehogs. Between March and July, after hedgehogs started to emerge from hibernation, we admitted more than 200 hedgehogs.

Admitting Hedgehogs

We operate a seven day a week service and we are the only rescue in the North West that admit hedgehogs after five pm.

Our peak periods of admission are between March and September after hedgehogs emerge from hibernation when we can admit between 1 and 10 hedgehogs every day. In the summer admittances are very high and include mothers with their hoglets as well as hoglets that have been abandoned or whose nests have been disturbed.

Some of the hoglets we receive are only a few days old when they arrive and they are normally cared for initially by one of our dedicated team of fosterers, as they need feeding every two hours throughout day and night.

We find that many of the hedgehogs we admit have parasites including lungworm and stool samples are checked under a microscope to determine what the problem is so that we can give the correct medication to treat it.

Hedgehog Rehabilitation & Care

The hedgehogs in our care are monitored very closely. We record how much they eat each morning and evening, and they are weighed weekly to monitor their condition. We also give medications when needed. Most new admissions are put on a course of antibiotics, and a vitamin injection to stimulate their appetite. All hogs are also wormed before their release.

The hedgehogs we care for in our hedgehog unit are cared for by our team of animal carers who are all qualified in animal care.

I feel like my job carries heavy responsibility and I enjoy feeling like I am doing something worthwhile to conserve Hedgehogs.

Hedgehog Release

Our aim is to return the hedgehogs to the wild once they are fit enough to do so and have put on enough weight to give them a good chance of survival – this is especially important for hedgehogs that are released in the autumn as they need to weigh a minimum of 750 grams in order to successfully hibernate.

We release our hedgehogs through a process known as “soft release”. We have a network of soft release sites where our released hedgehogs will be provided with food, water and shelter 52 weeks of the year in a suitable garden which they can escape from which is not on or close to a main road.

Become a Hedgehog Release Site

If you would be interested in becoming a release site for us please contact the Sanctuary.

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