Small Animals

5 Things to Do if You Find a Hedgehog

Hedgehog Found in Garden
Hedgehog Found in Garden

You’ve found a little hedgehog in your yard or on the street, and you don’t know what to do? Here are some things you can do to help! How many people do you ask? I have a hedgehog in my garden. What do I do? Here are some things you should know about hedgehogs.

The hedgehog is now one of the species that are in danger of going extinct. In fact, it could have been gone in less than ten years if nothing had been done.

1. Don’t hurt it (Most Important for Europeans)

The most important thing to know about the European hedgehog is that it is a species that is protected. So you can’t hurt it, kill it, sell it, or keep it locked up in your house. Hedgehogs are not pets; they are wild animals.

What does a hedgehog look like 

Note that the European hedgehog looks exactly like the North American porcupine, but it is much smaller. It is the right size, at about 30 cm, compared to the 90 cm of the porcupine. It weighs less than a kilogramme as well.  (compared to 12 for the porcupine).

2. Ban pesticides from your garden

If you find it in your garden, you can leave it where you found it. The hedgehog is good for gardeners because it eats bugs like caterpillars, slugs, snails, and earthworms. But it can also eat mice and frogs, among other small animals. So, the hedgehog is food for some animals, like the owl and the fox, but it is also a predator that eats other animals. It is also very good at smelling and hearing.

If a hedgehog won’t leave your garden and you don’t want to hurt it, get rid of all the chemicals (insecticides, herbicides, etc.) you use there.

Also, be careful with the mower because this small animal could be hiding under a pile of leaves. In fact, it hides under leaves or bushes during the day and doesn’t go hunting until dusk. Because of this, we say that the hedgehog is a semi-nocturnal animal.

3. Build him a shelter

In the winter, hedgehogs need a place to stay warm. You can buy ready-made nests at garden centers, or you can make one yourself out of sticks and leaves.

4. Move it away from the road

On the other hand, you will have to grab it if you want to move it. When you try to grab it, the hedgehog will curl up because its spikes are the only way it can protect itself. Use garden gloves or a slightly thick piece of cloth to catch the small animal so it doesn’t bite you.

If the hedgehog is not hurt, it shouldn’t bite you. In any case, it can’t give you fleas because fleas can’t jump from animal to human. You can move it by putting it in a box. Then, all you have to do is take it to the best place for it (preferably when it is dark and very far from a road).

5. Treat him

If you find a hedgehog hurt, put it in a box with some old clothes (handkerchiefs, etc.) and put it somewhere warm. The best thing to do is to put it in a warm water bottle. Please keep flies away from it because they might lay eggs between its spikes. Put kibble and water in a bowl for cats so they can eat it (no milk, no bread, no sugar).

If the hedgehog has a serious injury, it’s best to take him to the vet. If it’s a female, don’t move her unless it’s an emergency, because if you do, her young might die of hunger.

Keep in mind that a hedgehog can live between 8 and 10 years in the wild.

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