Many hedgehogs die or receive horrendous injuries each year from garden dangers such as Lawn mowers, ponds that have no escape route, garden netting and wire,household rubbish, discarded elastic bands,pesticides and pet dogs.
DANGERS TO LOOK OUT FOR
STRIMMERS & EMPTY FOOD CANS
These can & do cause serious injury and maiming as the hog on this page shows. He has lost an eye, a front tooth and has serious scarring under his neck and on his face.
rubbish / bin bags / pots
Keep off ground level to avoid any wildlife getting into and receiving such injuries. Jars & pots can trap and kill also.If a hog falls into, it may not be able to get out of.
Should a hog be found tangled in garden netting or wire,it will need to be taken into care & monitored. Although the hog may look fine it may present with problems some 7-10 days after caused by friction burns from rubbing on the netting /wire in it’s bid to free itself . The area can become infected and treatment will be required.
Scorched prickles after a fire may give an impression that the skin is undamaged but 7-10 days later, the whole burnt area will drop off leaving severe open wounds. Break any elastic bands found on the ground to prevent hogs becoming tangled in them.
Hedgehogs are good swimmers but need an escape route out of a pond, garden water feature or outdoor swimming pool.Consider a raised pond or cover with green plastic coated wire netting or provide the same that goes down into the pond rather than across it. You could provide a plank of wood, log or raised bricks to enable safe exit out of your pond & leave a couple of floats in your pool for a hog to take refuge on.
Please check daily to ensure any hog that has fallen in can be rescued before it’s too late. Please keep all garden chemicals off ground level. Hedgehogs are very inquisitive and can’t help but nose around.
Never turn your composter over with a garden fork before making sure you do not have a hedgehog sleeping in it.
Please be vigilant when letting your dog out to toilet in your garden particularly at dusk and night time. You may well have a prickly visitor in you garden either as a regular visitor or passer by. This could be during daylight hours as well as night in the case of a sick,injured or orphaned hog. Dogs can do serious harm to a hedgehog whose prickles are no defence in this instance.
YOU CAN ALSO SAFEGUARD against injury/maiming of hedgehogs by crushing the open end of empty food cans with the lid inside, before putting out for rubbish/re-cycling. Many hogs get their heads stuck in opened tins and either suffocate or become injured in their desperate search for food. Cut polysyrene and disposable plastic vending cups in half lengthways and cut the plastic multi pack can holders (beer,lager,baked beans, spaghetti etc so that a hog does not become trapped.The hog still grows but the plastic does not and will cut into a hogs body and cause severe injury & distress.
Many people now have wood fence panels surrounding their gardens. Try either removing a bottom slat or make a hole in one bottom slat to allow hedgehogs to enter and exit. Wild Hedgehogs should not be kept as pets or a means of slug control.
NEVER light a bonfire without first checking that there are no hedgehogs sleeping/hibernating in it. Use a broom handle to check .If you really have to have a bonfire it is best to leave building it until the day of burning. For bonfires built in advance, you can protect a hog from entering by fencing the perimeter with chicken wire, staked and at least 2 feet high.
Should you ever find an adult hog out during daylight, it is possible that it could be a female and may have a litter close by.
Please be on the lookout and listen for any hoglets who will become distressed with the absence of their mum. A hoglet’s call for mum is a very sharp/high pitched bird like call but will be coming from ground level. Please be extra vigilant around springtime when hedgehogs wake from their long hibernation.They will be in need of food and water having used their fat reserves during hibernation Hedgehogs out during daylight need urgent help.
Keep drains covered to prevent hogs falling into and check cattlegrids which a hog may have fallen into