How to ensure hedgehogs are safe this winter with an easy to follow guide

PUBLISHED: 11:43 08 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:43 08 November 2017

Suzanne's rescued hedgehogs. One of the rescued hedgehogs keeping warm.

Suzanne's rescued hedgehogs. One of the rescued hedgehogs keeping warm.

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A rescue centre in the Fens that cares for hedgehogs has released some timely tips on caring for them.

Suzanne's rescued hedgehogs. Suzanne's rescued hedgehogs.

A rescue centre in the Fens that cares for hedgehogs has released some timely tips on caring for them.

It follows reports from the Wisbech area that two hedgehogs were injured after seemingly being used to play ‘football’.

Suzanne's rescued hedgehogs. Suzanne's rescued hedgehogs.

One of the hedgehogs was even covered in a ‘tar like substance’ before being rescued and taken to the vet.

Hedgehogs are at a huge risk due to the unpredictable cold winter weather. During this time of year, most hedgehogs should be in hibernation.

Suzanne's rescued hedgehogs. One of the hedgehogs eating mashed up cat food. Suzanne's rescued hedgehogs. One of the hedgehogs eating mashed up cat food.

However some of the hedgehogs are still confused by the unpredictable weather and often go into hibernation too early.

One person that makes a huge effort to look after hedgehogs is Suzanne Lyons of ‘Suzanne’s Hedgehog Rescue’ based in Walpole St Peter

Suzanne's rescued hedgehogs. One of the rescued hedgehogs keeping warm. Suzanne's rescued hedgehogs. One of the rescued hedgehogs keeping warm.

She started her Facebook page in late 2015, educating people on how to look after hedgehogs and sharing her journey as a ‘Hedgehog Rescuer’.

Suzanne has released three simple steps to follow if you find a sick, injured or baby hedgehog (under 400g). Please put it into a high sided box. She says it needs to be taken to a rescue centre as soon as possible, in the meantime here’s what you can do:

• Place an old towel in a box for the hedgehog to crawl under.

• Put the box in a warm dry area during the winter.

• Give it a shallow bowl of mashed up cat food and a shallow bowl of water, and then call your local rescue centre.

Suzanne of Suzanne’s Hedgehog Rescue said: “Hedgehogs health can go downhill very fast, so they need to be seen as soon as possible. Often they are suffering with internal parasites like lungworm which can kill them if untreated.

“The last two mild winters have had a significant affect on the way the hedgehogs have been behaving. Not hibernating throughout winter and breeding early when there isn’t much food around.

Breeding later has contributed to why we are finding so many baby hedgehogs out there. This time of year the hogs we are releasing are about 700g to give them the best chance of going through hibernation.

To give an example some rescues over the country have hedgehogs that have been found recently under 100g. This is why we are asking people to look out for small hedgehogs as well as the general sick ones we find this time of year.

Suzanne’s Hedgehog Rescue is looking for donations to help keep hedgehogs alive this winter. It’s very expensive, to make any donations the account details are - Sort code: 55-81-28, account number 94797498. To get in contact with Suzanne if you’ve found a hedgehog or you have any questions, call: 07866 625263 or visit her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SuzannesHedgehogRescue

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