The RSPCA has come to the aid of a hedgehog trapped under a fence post in Cwmbran.
Local residents spotted the hedgehog on the pavement near their Beechleigh Close home, last Tuesday (18 August).
Tasha Jack and her nine-year-old son Jake went to check on the hedgehog soon afterwards – only to find the animal had got himself wedged under a nearby fence.
She said: “I was out walking with my son Jake, and we spotted the hedgehog on the street. My son was very excited, and we took some photos so he could show his friends.
“He checked on the hedgehog soon afterwards – and wanted to leave some food and water out for him. But, to our surprise, we found him jammed underneath a nearby fence.”
RSPCA Cymru officer Christine McNeil headed to the scene – and, after trying to slide the hedgehog out with washing-up liquid, found he was absolutely wedged into the gap and unable to move.
Fortunately, the fence owner was happy to unscrew the panel, and the hedgehog could be lifted free, before being transferred to a specialist wildlife centre for rehabilitation and care.
Ms Jack added: “We’d taken out some water and a tub of food for the hedgehog – and we were desperate to help him, but also didn’t want to risk hurting him – so we phoned the RSPCA.
“Jake and his friend checked on the hedgehog every 15 minutes, and the RSPCA soon arrived and thankfully were able to help.
“We initially tried washing-up liquid – but the hog wouldn’t budge. But thankfully the fence owner was very kind, and was happy for the panel to be removed so the hedgehog could be safely collected. We were all so relieved.
“Jake was so excited to tell his brother Dray all about the rescue, and what he had done to help him. We’re all very proud.”
Inspector McNeil added: “This lovely rescue was a great reminder of the importance of communities rallying around to help animals.
“Had Tasha and her son not been checking on this hedgehog, we may never have become aware of his plight. Thankfully, they kept a close eye on him and were able to sound the alarm when he needed help.
“Another resident was only too happy for the fence panel to be taken out and for us to reach the hog. The animal was understandably very panicked after the ordeal and has been taken to a specialist care centre for rehabilitation before we plan to release him back to the wild.”
Hedgehogs can benefit from gaps being provided under fences, to create ‘Hedgehog Highways’, allowing them to move freely between gardens.
For more information about what to do if you find a wild animal in need of help, please visit the RSPCA website. The RSPCA also publishes guidance on hedgehog-friendly gardening, feeding hedgehogs and helping them to make a home.
RSPCA officers have remained on the frontline throughout the Covid-19 crisis, responding to emergencies. Should you wish to support this animal welfare work, you can donate online.