Today the definite highlight (not that filling in portfolio forms isn’t exciting) has been the arrival of this little guy in my garden:
I noticed him ambling around when I went to put the kettle on, then of course got very excited because I didn’t know I had hedgehogs in my garden. So I forgot all about my tea and rushed outside to see if I could take a picture of him. By the time I got outside he’d found a nice juicy slug that he was chewing away on so he didn’t pay me any attention at all. He even let me get close enough to take a close up picture of his spines (are they called spines?)
Eventually he ambled away again looking for more slugs so I left him alone and went back inside. But when I got in I started thinking, that I don’t normally see hedgehogs during the day, I thought they were nocturnal. So, I did as every 20-something does, and I googled it. The answer to “Do hedgehogs come out in the day time?” was a resounding ‘no’. A hedgehog will only be out in the day if it’s nesting (which my guy wasn’t, he would have been carrying leaves around), or if there’s something wrong. All the hedgehog preservation sites said that if you see a hedgehog out in the day, you should carefully catch it and take it to a sanctuary. So that’s what I did.
By the time I realised there was a problem, my little hedgehog had ambled to the front of the house, so I quickly relocated him and then scooped him up in a towel and put him into my rabbits old carry case. For anyone who’s a wildlife enthusiast, I was very careful not to hurt him, and the case had loads of towels and newspaper and a hot water bottle and some water, so he had everything he needed. I then called one of the hedgehog preservation numbers, who put me into contact with a local rep who happened to live 5 minutes up the road. So I jumped into the car with the hedgehog and took him in.
When I got there I discovered this lady is a dedicated hedgehog specialist, so I had brought him to the right place. She checked and confirmed that he was a he, and then weighed him. He was only 421 grams, and should have been around 600, so he definitely wasn’t very healthy. She confirmed that, although he didn’t look ill, if I hadn’t have brought him in he would certainly have died. She put him straight into a hedgehog hutch with a little hedgehog house, a heat mat and some blankets, and promised to give him any medication he needed, feed him and make sure he wasn’t dehydrated. As he had survived the winter she decided that my garden is probably a fairly good hedgehog habitat, so I get to have him back when he’s up to a good weight and will survive in the wild. I might have to get him a hedgehog house and give him some cat food every now and then though. Because she had so many hedgehogs, I had to give my little guy a name so he didn’t get mixed up. My first choice was obviously Henry, but that was already taken, as was Horace, Harry, and a few other H’s, so I had to think outside the box. I didn’t think Steve would be overly impressed with my naming a hedgehog after him, and Steve doesn’t really suit him anyway. So I eventually decided on Sammy. Steve’s son Sammy is very cute, like my hedgehog, and I didn’t think he’d mind.
So that’s the story of the hedgehog saga. It definitely made my day, but apologies if you’re not interested in hearing about hedgehog rescue epics. In case you were wondering what a hedgehog eating a slug looks like, wonder no more! (I know it’s not very exciting but he’s very cute and you can even hear him chewing, and yes, that is my video)