THE RSPCA is warning of the dangers of litter after a young hedgehog became trapped in a plastic lid.
A kindhearted member of the public discovered the poor creature at Willowbrook Gardens, St Mellons, Cardiff yesterday morning at around 7am (8 September) and placed the hedgehog safely in a box until RSPCA animal collection officer Gary Lucas arrived.
He said: “The juvenile hedgehog had its head stuck in a piece of plastic. I was able to cut off the lid and I have taken it to the vets for a weight check before release.
“We urge people to throw away their litter responsibly. Animals like hedgehogs are attracted by leftover food in containers like bottles, pots and tins and can get trapped or injured by litter.
“Make sure you clean food containers and place them carefully into a rubbish or
recycling bin out of the way of wildlife.”
Call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 9
99 if you find a sick or injured hedgehog or take it into a wildlife centre. Put them into a large box with plenty of clean, fresh hay, newspapers or dry leaves until the hedgehog can be picked up and keep human contact to a minimum.
For more information visit http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/litter
If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).
Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets.
Hedgehogs eat slugs, beetles, caterpillars and a variety of other insects. For this reason, many gardeners regard them as welcome visitors.
To attract hedgehogs try providing natural shelter such as a ‘wild’ area, or man-made shelter. Log, leaf and compost piles are very attractive to hedgehogs. There are benefits of a ‘wildlife corridor’ by making sure there is a gap in the wall/fence of a garden to allow hedgehogs to travel from place to place.
Hedgehogs are susceptible to lungworm from eating slugs and worms infected with the parasite.
It’s a myth that hedgehogs enjoy bread and milk. In fact they are intolerant to cow’s milk which can upset their digestive systems. Instead, leave out food such as minced meat, fresh liver, tinned dog food (not fish-based) sunflower hearts, dried meal worms or even boiled eggs. A shallow bowl of drinking water would also be used by hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal and may wander up to three kilometres each night.