Now that’s the pits! A hedgehog had a smelly encounter – and a lucky escape – after he became trapped in a slurry pit at a farm in Caernarfon.
RSPCA Cymru animal collection officer (ACO) William Galvin attended the farm in Saron on Tuesday (5 September), where the poor creature had managed to get wedged in the pit and was unable to escape.
ACO Galvin said: “It’s unclear how this hedgehog managed to get into this fix! Perhaps he was a bit inquisitive or took an accidental tumble, but he ended up needing our assistance.
“The caller who reported this to us had tried to rescue him, but they were unable to free him successfully.
“Using a rescue pole I was able to catch him and lift him out. Luckily he was uninjured and was just covered in muck and – unsurprisingly – rather smelly!.
“This hedgehog was lucky he was spotted, although the poor thing had been there for a couple of days.”
ACO Galvin – following the rescue – cleaned up the hedgehog and returned him back into the wild.
“It is not unusual for animals to get stuck in things like pits and cattle grids,” added ACO Galvin. “Some grids have ramps in them to allow an animal to climb back out.”
RSPCA Cymru offers hedgehog-friendly gardening tips to members of the public, to help keep these creatures safe. These include:
Cover drains and holes and place bricks at the side of ponds to give hedgehogs an easy route out. Cover swimming pools overnight and when not in use.
Check for hedgehogs before using strimmers or mowers, particularly under hedges where animals may rest. Check compost heaps for nesting hogs before forking over.
Build bonfires as close to the time of lighting as possible and check them thoroughly before lighting.
Remove sports or fruit netting when not in use to prevent hedgehogs becoming entangled, and getting injured.
Slug pellets can poison hedgehogs and should only be used as a last resort. Instead, it is advised to try using one of many “natural” alternatives, like sprinkling crushed eggshells or coffee grounds around the plants you need to protect. If you have to use pellets, place them under a slate which is inaccessible to hedgehogs.
For further advice on helping hedgehogs in your garden, please visit: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/inthewild/gardenhedgehogs. If you find an animal in distress please call our 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999.
Should you wish to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting LOVE to 87023 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity and rely on public donations