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Peggy the Hedgehog Has a Lucky Escape this Bonfire Night, How Can You Safeguard Others?

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Peggy the Hedgehog Has a Lucky Escape this Bonfire Night, How Can You Safeguard Others?

One lucky hedgehog will not need to worry about taking refuge in a safe place this bonfire night after it was rescued by a member of the community in Tonypandy and taken into the local Budget Vets branch to be cared for.

The hedgehog who has been named Peggy by the team at Budget Vets had a broken hind limb which unfortunately required amputating and has been taken home by Leanne Fieldhouse RVN, Practice Manager to recover before she is released in the spring.

Sadly, there will be many more hedgehogs who will be attracted to the piles of wood being constructed for bonfires this coming weekend as well as other wildlife including frogs, newts and toads. They are seeking shelter as the temperatures begin to drop for the onset of winter.

Budget Vets and other animal care specialists and organisations are asking those responsible for building the bonfires to take extra care before lighting them to check they aren’t being used as winter hibernation dens.

There is also another very important reason that extra care should be taken to protect hedgehogs this year as Leanne explains, “The hedgehog population in the UK is in decline with a report by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species estimating that that there has been a 30% drop in numbers in the last 10 years, and suggests that there are now fewer than one million hedgehogs remaining in the UK.”

There are a few simple actions organisers of bonfire events can take to protect our spike friends and other wildlife seeking shelter.

  1. Wait until the actual day of the event before building the bonfire or if you must build it in advance then put chicken wire around its base to stop the small animals from accessing it.
  2. When checking, a bonfire don’t use or fork or sharp object, just gently lift parts of the bottom section and have a good look around.
  3. If you do find hedgehogs, wear garden gloves to carefully lift them out and gently place them in a cardboard box with an old towel or newspaper and put them in a safe place (make sure you put a top on the box and make plenty of air holes).
  4. After the bonfire is completely out, release the hedgehog back into the immediate vicinity in a hedgerow or a sheltered area.
  5. You could also consider building your own ‘hedgehog hibernacula’ in a safe area. All you need to do is gather leaves, grass cuttings and other garden waste products and form a pile that is dry.