Hedgehogs need help this winter

Wildlife officer Krystal Aitchison with a hoglet
Wildlife officer Krystal Aitchison with a hoglet

The Scottish SPCA is urging members of the public to call its animal helpline if they find a hedgehog during the winter.

Staff at the charity’s Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fife are caring for 40 hedgehogs at the moment, the majority of which are too small to survive outside during the cold weather.

Centre manager Colin Seddon said: “Hedgehogs should be hibernating by now, but there will be some out there who won’t survive without help.

“Most of the hedgehogs in our care have either been caught out by the bad weather and didn’t have enough time to store up the necessary body fat to go into hibernation or are from late litters, which is common.

“These youngsters will be out foraging for food such as earthworms, beetles, slugs, snails, insects, fruit and carrion but they’ll be finding it very difficult because of the cold weather.

“Many of them have arrived in our care weighing between 300g and 400g, almost half of their ideal weight.

“We would be particularly concerned if a hedgehog is out during the day and would urge anyone who finds one to call us so we can come and collect it.”

Mr Seddon added: “Hedgehogs will struggle as the temperatures drop, so if anyone spots one during the freezing winter weather they should call us immediately.”

Anyone who finds a hedgehog this winter is urged to call the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.