She may have been looking for a good hiding place from predators – but this hedgehog picked the wrong one.
The hog had become trapped inside a drain pipe outside a house in Gelli Deg, Fforestfach, Swansea, and RSPCA Cymru were called to the rescue.
RSPCA animal collection officer, Ellie West, said: “We often get called to hedgehogs stuck down drains and I thought this rescue would be just the same as normal, except the hedgehog wasn’t straight down the hole but in a side hole to the drain.
“I used my phone as a light to take a photo so I could see where the hedgehog was down the drain, but when I pulled out my phone to see the photos, I released she was a lighter more unusual coloured hedgehog (leucistic*).
“The caller’s drains had covers on all of them but they noticed that a nearby drain had a large hole in it and we think the hedgehog had fallen down there and come through the pipe to the homeowner’s drain.
“It took a long time to get her out because of the angle of the drain and how far back she had gone, not to mention when a hedgehog is scared and they curl up and it often makes them fill a drain pipe and with their spines sticking in all directions so it makes it even more difficult to pull them through.
“Eventually, some 40 minutes later, after using a wire I keep in my van for such rescues that you can curl round in different ways and some fairy liquid on my fingertips to slide her back through to the opening, we got her out.”
The hedgehog has now been taken to Gower Bird Hospital for assessment and rehabilitation.
Animals like hedgehogs can easily fall into uncovered drains or holes in your garden; we recommend covering the holes or checking them every day to ensure no animals have become trapped.
Call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 if you find a sick or injured hedgehog, or take it into a wildlife centre or vet if you are able. Wearing suitable gloves, you can put them into a large box with plenty of clean, fresh hay or newspapers. Remember, the animal will need peace and quiet and you will need to keep human contact to a minimum.
For more information visit www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give.
*Often confused with albinism as the effects are similar, leucism is a genetic condition resulting in the loss or reduction of coloured pigment. Unlike albinos though, leucistic animals only have white colouration on their skin, fur or feathers; their eyes are unaffected (unlike albino animals which have red eyes).