Shropshire Star

New beginning as hedgehogs to be released after help from wildlife centre

A Shropshire wildlife rescue centre is preparing to release just a few of its 150-strong contingent of rescued hedgehogs this week.

Becky Lewis, wildlife care assistant at Cuan Wildlife Rescue Centre, with one of the hedgehogs ready for release

Cuan Wildlife Rescue, in Much Wenlock, currently has well over a hundred hedgehogs in its care, that are all reportedly doing well, but only a small handful have yet reached a safe enough weight to be released.

Hayley Robinson, senior wildlife assistant at Cuan, said: "We have about ten that have reached 650 grammes so we can release them. The weather needs to be right, ideally dry and not too cold.

"Sometimes the people who brought them in want them back and that's good. The hedgehogs know their territory and they can go back there. If they can't go back to where they were found, if the environment isn't suitable, we have other areas where we can release them safely."

Hedgehogs are brought in throughout the year, but usually spring and the autumn are the busiest times, as the animals can struggle through the winter, and some of the weaker ones who have fallen behind start to show up in the autumn.

Once a rescued hedgehog gets to around 550 grammes they can make quick progress and be healthy enough to be released. Until then though, they are safe at Cuan.

So, if you find a hedgehog that is struggling over the next few months, what can you do to help it along?

Hayley said: "Hedgehogs eat wet, non-fishy dog or cat food, and water. Fishy pet foods tend to give them an upset tummy, and you should never give them milk as it is bad for them."

In the meantime for Cuan, staff are still observing rules to combat avian flu, and are not taking any more bird rescues for the time being, but are still available for help and advice over the phone.


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