The RSPCA is urging people to put sports netting away when not in use, after a hedgehog had to be rescued from one in Ware.

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The animal welfare charity was called on Thursday, 28 July, by a member of the public who was concerned about the hog tangled in some tennis netting at Wodson Park Leisure Centre, in Wadesmill Road.

RSPCA inspector Helen Mead said: “The hedgehog was tangled in the netting completely, particularly around his legs and neck.

“We managed to safely free him and thankfully he had no injuries, so he was able to be released immediately back into the wild.

“However, we do regularly get called to incidents where the animal tangled in netting is injured, sometimes fatally. To prevent this from happening, we encourage people to remove the nets after use and store them safely away.

“As hedgehogs are nocturnal, they have normally been trapped and struggling all night and so by the time they are found in the morning, they can have very serious injuries, be exhausted and dehydrated and often need veterinary attention to sedate them and remove all the netting. Thankfully, it did not turn out like this for this little hog, who was left uninjured.

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“As it is the summer holidays, sports netting may be out more often so it is very important that people think about putting it away afterwards. It only takes a few minutes and it could save an animal from suffering.”

Other forms of garden netting, like pond or fruit netting, can be a real hazard to wild animals like hedgehogs and the RSPCA recommends replacing these with solid metal mesh.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)