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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

A couple of days ago I noticed a hedgehog on my driveway. I had to give it a little tap so that it would move on as I didn't want to run over it with my car. Today I saw it again nestled in the short grass right next to the driveway when I went to go to work and it is still there tonight as I've come home. It is still alive as again I nudged it and it stirred but did not get up and walk away.

I'm a bit worried about it. Surely it won't try and hibernate without any cover? (the grass is not long at all!) I know that they don't always stay in the same place during hibernation but it will not survive long where it is as I'm liable to run it over or some kids will kick it or something as it's right next to a public path.

Is there something I can do if it is still there in the morning? Can I move it or if I keep nudging it will it get up and walk off eventually?

Thanks,

Craig
 

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Where do you live, and what kind of hedgehog is it? If you're in Europe, and it's a typical European hedgehog, then yes, it will most likely trundle off in search of bugs sooner or later.

If you're in a place where hedgehogs aren't a native species, then you could have a bigger problem. If the little guy is an African hedgehog and you live in a cold climate, then you have a very big problem. The hedgehog would need to come inside immediately and warm up, or it will die of the cold.

Do you have a wild/exotic animal rescue around where you live? You could start looking by scanning the phone book for vets who advertise the treatment of exotics, and ask them if they know where you could take a hedgehog. You might get lucky if you do an internet search on "exotic animal rescue" + the name of your city, state, province, etc. Either way, I would try to avoid taking the hedgehog to a standard animal shelter. My understanding is that most of the time these little guys are put down right away, due to the shelter's inability to care for them. Still, even euthanasia's better than a slow, cold, starving death.

Whatever choice you make, unless wild hedgehogs are common where you live, please do find someone to care for this hedgie ASAP!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi,

Well I'm almost in Nottinghamshire....I'm in Derbyshire in England. The hedgehog is still there this morning. It won't be getting to extreme temperatures where I live but it may reach below 0 Deg C on a few days in the next few months. I hope he will just move off but it has been 2 days now in the exact same spot.

I was thinking about sticking a load of leaves into a plastic kitchen rubbish bin and placing it on its side in my garden then simply placing the hedgehog into it and giving it the choice if it wants to move out or not.

I assume hedgehogs are native around here (well they certainly are not uncommon!) so finding any professional help isn't really an option.

Craig
 

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This is not normal in our wild guys. The Europeans have their nest built which are fairly thick now and many will still be active in trying to find food in order to bulk up as best they can in the last few weeks that the late guys are still up.

If you have a hedgie there in the grass he is either injured, confused or old (old being rarer). They can due to the cold and lack of food start to slow down and just kind of give up if you like. All of my due to be released in spring have made nests and are sleeping now. The temps eventually will kill him if he does not get a nest built and some food into him.

In order to make a successful hibernation they must weigh a minimum of 600grms, we personally don't let them go till 800grms as the smaller ones will get up more frequently to feed and drink (which is what all hedgies do over the winter months and not sleep all the way to March which is what some people think) As their main food sources are also sleeping, hiding or just not readily available till the warmer months, it is not uncommon for a hedgie to meet its demise due to starvation and cold, so unless you can add a food source for their brief awakenings then many 600grm-ers will not make it. We see this in Ireland and the UK.

My advice, if you have somewhere secure in your back garden even, make a nest using loads of leaves, dried grass etc, or go to pet store and buy a pre-woven large bird nest, cover the lower part of this with soil, helps with keeping it warmer in winter, pack with grass and cover it with the materials mentioned, you must ensure flooding cannot take place and the entrance should be a foot long to help ensure this and keep the inner chamber as chill free as possible. They place the hedgie in there and offer him/her food. Anyone who has hedgies should offer food through out the winter in a sheltered area as they do feed, not often but they do.

They are protected by legislation BUT you can remove from the wild if they are sick, dying or injured or if their life is endanger, you can take them into your home and get them through the winter and then release if you deemed them at risk of not surviving but as most vets both here and UK will treat wildlife for free why not ring, find one and take him for a once over if you think its more then just being behind in preparation for the big sleep.
 
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