Hedgehogs future in a prickly state

Walnut (in the cup) and Baby Squeaky are new residents at Hedgehugs.
Walnut (in the cup) and Baby Squeaky are new residents at Hedgehugs.

THIS may be one of the cutest photographs you have seen, but it could soon become an image confined to the history books.

That is the fear of city-based hedgehog rescue centre Hedgehugs.

The once familiar sight of our prickly friends in the garden is fast becoming a thing of the past.

And city residents are being urged to do their bit to help.

During the past few weeks the Wrenthorpe centre has been inundated with calls and is caring for 37 hogs, 20 of which weigh 200g or less.

Co-founder Wendy Plummer, 52, of Outwood, said: “The problem appears to be caused by the cold, wet weather, and the increased use of slug pellets.

“We are also getting baby hoglets, who are just finding it too cold and damp when leaving their nests.

“Injured hogs must be taken to your nearest vet, who can contact us if their injuries are not too severe.

“Place the hog in a cat basket, or strong cardboard box, cover it with an old towel and place a shallow bowl of water mixed with sugar or glucose.

“Please do not give them milk as it can be quite toxic.”

She said there used to be 35 million hedgehogs in the UK, but their numbers have dropped to one million.

To report a hedgehog visit www.hedgehugs.net or ring 07527 185620.