A&E nurses at South Tyneside District Hospital were surprised to see a particularly tiny patient come and visit them during their evening shift! A little European hedgehog – affectionately named John by the hospital staff – had managed to cleverly sneak in through the doors intended for ambulance crews and was found wandering around the resuscitation area.
Later found to have hypothermia, this little hedgehog had likely wandered into the hospital in search of warmth. Staff quickly noticed that he was cold and “quite floppy”, and wrapped him in a warm blanket before referring him to local charity Pawz for Thought for more intensive specialised treatment. Luckily John seems to be doing well and plans have been made for his release back into the wild.
You can read more about John’s story here.
When do hedgehogs need help?
Hedgehogs are nocturnal by nature, so if you see one during daylight hours this is a sign that they may need your help. If you find a hedgehog that appears to be injured or unwell, the RSPCA recommends using a towel or a thick pair of gloves to transfer them to a box with water and cat food in a warm quiet space. The gloves will protect you from getting pricked by their spines, and from any diseases that they could be carrying – they are wild animals, after all. It’s then recommended to take them to a rescue organisation for treatment as quickly as possible.
Several countries have options for hedgehog rescue & treatment set up. Here’s a small list of organisations in a few different countries:
- Austria: WWF Österreich, Igelhilfe Österreich.
- Netherlands: Egelbescherming.nl, Dierenbescherming.nl, wildopvang.nl, Egelwerkgroep Nederland.
- United Kingdom: BHPS, The Wildlife Trusts, RSPCA, Wildlife Aid Foundation.
- Germany: Igel-In-Not, Bund Naturschutz Bayern, Igelfreunde Ruhrgebiet e.V., Arbeitsgruppe Igelschutz Dortmund e.V. , LBV.
- South Africa: SouthAfrica.co.za , Critter Rescue South Africa,
- Switzerland: Pro-Igel
Article by Sarah Bessie.