The RSPCA is calling for people to be aware of the dangers of littering after a hedgehog in Hampshire died from an infection from wounds caused by an elastic band.
The young hedgehog was found last Wednesday (18 November) stumbling around in an unusual manner in daylight by a mother and daughter in Basingstoke, Hampshire, who, concerned for the animal’s welfare, contacted the RSPCA for help.
RSPCA inspector Nikki Denham took the sick animal to Hart Wildlife Hospital near Alton to be treated, where it was discovered that the hedgehog was being restricted by an elastic band that was wrapped tightly around his body and cutting into the skin under his arms. He was at the wildlife hospital for two days before his suffering increased so greatly that the sad decision had to be made by a vet to put the animal to sleep.
Inspector Denham said: “This poor hedgehog was clearly uncomfortable and his wounds from the elastic band being wrapped around him so tight had left him not only raw and very sore but struggling with a nasty infection that had really taken hold of him.
“The vet said that the band had clearly been there for some time, possibly several months even, and that as a young hog he might have even grown up wearing it. Unfortunately this has resulted in the loss of a precious life and this is something that should remind us just how dangerous litter of all kinds is for wildlife. We would encourage people to please always dispose of their rubbish responsibly.
“Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and rarely come out in the day. What many people perhaps don’t realise is that seeing a hedgehog walking around in broad daylight usually signifies that something is wrong. We would advise people to be on the lookout for sick and injured hogs, particularly at this time of year now that the cold weather is drawing in, and try and help where they can.
“Sadly this poor creature could not be saved but we can help put a stop to this happening again by not littering and keeping our eye out for any unusual behaviour when it comes to wildlife.”
Anyone who is concerned about the welfare of a hedgehog or any animal should contact the RSPCA immediately on 0300 1234 999. More advice on sick and injured wild animals can also be found on the RSPCA website at: http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimalshttp://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals
More information on the dangers litter can pose to wildlife, and advice on what you can do can also be found on the RSPCA website at: