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RSPCA braced for a hectic hedgehog season as calls spike in the summer

Lifestyle / Mon 2nd Aug 2021 at 11:23am

A TOTAL of 6,200 calls about sick, injured and orphaned hedgehogs were made to the RSPCA’s national helpline in 2020, 1855 of which were made in July and August alone compared to just 199 calls taken in January and February.

Across 2020, an average of five hedgehogs per day were admitted to one of the charity’s four specialist wildlife centres, but in the peak months of July and August, this rose to an average of eight per day – the equivalent of one poorly or orphaned hedgehog every three hours.

The RSPCA’s Scientific Officer Evie Button said: “July and August are our busiest months 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.

“We receive more calls about hedgehogs than about almost any other wild mammal. With a total of 6,200 calls taken last year, averaged out, we get about 17 calls a day relating to these iconic and beautiful animals.”

The top reason given by callers for contacting the animal charity about a hedgehog were that they had found a sick or injured animal (4,333). Other reasons included finding an orphaned newborn or juvenile (436) or an animal that was trapped or entangled (433).

Evie continued: “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.

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