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Hedgehog in a prickle is rescued

A poorly hedgehog found wandering around in the daytime looking for food is now being cared for in a special animal 'hosprickal'.

Hedgehog in a prickle is rescued

A member of the public took the young female along to West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue in Cheslyn Hay.

Severely underweight, the creature - just a few weeks old - is now being nursed back to health by Joan Lockley who runs the rescue centre.

She said: "The hedgehog was brought in on Christmas Eve. She was very poorly.

"Food sources are drying up for hedgehogs now because of the weather so some of the juveniles are coming out in the day looking for food.

"I'll release her into the wild around April when the weather has warmed up a bit."

Joan Lockley of West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue with the hedgehog rescued on Christmas Eve

Mrs Lockley set up the hedgehog rescue centre 14 years ago. She rescues 450 hedgehogs every year and currently has 25 hedgehogs in the hosprickal.

When hedgehogs are taken into the centre, they are wormed and given a course of antibiotics. The aim is to get the creature up to their preferred weight of 600g.

The hedgehogs are kept in separate hutches at the centre.

Mrs Lockley added: "If anyone sees a hedgehog out during the day, no matter if they look fit and healthy, they should pick it up.

"The hedgehog needs to be put into a box filled with shredded paper or old clothes.

A closer view of the patient

"It needs to be escape free as the hedgehog will try to get out. Then it needs to be fed with cat food."

Mrs Lockley had another poorly hedgehog arrive yesterday. It was seen during day walking around a garden in Walsall.

In the UK, there were around 30 million hedgehogs 30 years ago. Now there are just under one million due mainly to loss of habitat.

Anyone who finds a hedgehog that needs to be rescued should call Mrs Lockley 01922 419532 or 07837409533.

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