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PHOTOS: A safety reminder about Cornwall's hedgehogs

PHOTOS: A safety reminder about Cornwall's hedgehogs

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 5:01pm 2nd November 2018. (Updated at 6:00pm 2nd November 2018)

A safety plea has been issued to help Cornwall's hedgehogs this Bonfire night.

We're approaching the time of year where we might find our prickly, backyard friends in the shed or our wellies or wrapped in kitchen paper in the utility room; which is why we're being urged to give them a helping hand. 

The county's Hedgehog rescue centre, Prickles and Paws, get over 500 hedgehogs a year.

poorly hedgehogs 1
Cornwall's hedgehog rescue centre, Prickles and Paws, rescue over 500 hedgehogs a year.

Young hogs weighing less than 500 grams during late autumn will need help to survive the winter.

A spokesperson for the centre told Pirate FM their busiest months of the year are during Summer and Autumn with new arrivals.

They added:

"So far this year we have admitted 360 so will likely exceed 600 before the year is out.

"We are getting lots of questions about what weights hedgehogs need to be to safely hibernate.

"At the minute they still have plenty of time to put on weight before hibernation, unless a hedgehog is out during the day, obviously injured or unwell they do not yet need to come to us."

Temperatures in the Duchy are much milder than other parts of the country so Cornish Hedgehogs don't tend to hibernate until December sometimes even January.

hedgehog bertha's triplets, cornwall
A warning has been sent out urging people not to feed hedgehogs meal worms, sunflower seeds or peanuts.

The centre is urging people to make sure you're feeding hedgehogs the right food.

It's a common myth that meal worms and milk are healthy for hedgehogs - they're actually extremely harmful.

Prickles and Paws said:

"There is a lot of misinformation out there about meal worms with lots of organisations having not updated their advice, they are very unhealthy and can cause metabolic bone disease so please do not feed hedgehogs them at all. 

"Keep supporting them with a dish of water and food (hedgehog, cat or dog food) and a reminder no mealworms, sunflower hearts or peanuts."

Hedgehog friendly tips..

The RSPCA recommend these tips to make sure you're a hedgehog ally.

  • Cover drains and holes in your garden and place bricks at the side of ponds to give hedgehogs an easy route out. 
  • Check for hedgehogs before using strimmers or mowers, particularly under hedges where animals may rest an check compost heaps for nesting hogs before forking over.
  • Build bonfires as close to time of lighting as possible and check them thoroughly before lighting.
  • Remove sports or fruit netting when not in use to prevent hedgehogs becoming entangled, and getting injured.
  • Never feed hedgehogs milk as it can cause diarrhoea; instead provide plain, fresh water in a shallow bowl.
  • Slug pellets can poison hedgehogs and should only be used as a last resort. Instead try using one of many "natural" alternatives, like sprinkling crushed eggshells or coffee grounds around the plants you need to protect. If you have to use pellets, place them under a slate which is inaccessible to hedgehogs.

You can sign a petition to help protect the species from growing housing developments here.

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