Submitted by Steve on 17:23, 29th Jul, 2014 | 0

At the GSPCA we have started to see the another round of Hoglets (baby hedgehogs) being found and rescued in Guernsey.

You normally see Hoglets in May, June or July, when the first litters are generally born, and in August-September, when the second litters are born.

During April and May we had a number of Hoglets rescued and also mothers that gave birth on site, many of which are already back in the wild.

The average size of a litter is four to five, and they appear after about a 4 1/2 week pregnancy.

The reasons why you may find them can be if the mother is disturbed soon after the birth, as she may desert her hoglets. Many more hoglets are made orphans because their mother is killed or injured by motor vehicles, dies because of garden or farmland hazards, falls into a douit without an escape ramp or is poisoned by pesticides.

If you have a nest in your garden please do not keep looking in it as this may cause the mother to desert the babies.

The hoglets are often in or near their nest, which often will be under a shed, in a hedgerow, pile of garden debris or a compost heap. You may hear their distressed, shrill, bird-like piping. If you find one or two, the area should be searched, as there may be others, either still in the nest or nearby.

If you find abandoned hoglets they are very vulnerable creatures and are often found in a poor state. For survival, human help is needed quickly, and generally three things are needed urgently – WARMTH, TOILETING and FOOD.

The first being warmth can be as simple as holding them in your hands or wrapping in a piece of dry clothing.

Wild animals suffer stress in an unnatural environment and hedgehogs are no exception. Noise levels can be very stressful so please keep levels as low as possible.

The hoglets will benefit greatly by being kept warm and dry and will need to be in a quiet, calm atmosphere and handled only when necessary.

They should be placed in a small cardboard box or similar container, lined with plenty of newspaper. For bedding use some old (but not threadbare) towels. Place a hot water bottle, filled with hot – not boiling water - wrapped in a towel or warm material, in the bottom of the box (a reptile heat mat or heated propagator may be used instead). Put the hoglets on this and cover with further bedding.

The best option then for their survival is to transport them to the GSPCA in St Andrews or call us to collect them on 01481 257261 as soon as possible.Tiggy and Winkle hoglets at the GSPCA in Guernsey

At the Animal Shelter we have intensive care units, trained team members and specialist milk.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said "Last night Tiggy and Winkle 2 very young hoglets were rescued after being found near Vauvert School and are now safe, warm and fed at the GSPCA."

"When you find very young animals if action isn't taken quickly then they can easily perish , but thankfully these two little one's have made it through their first night and are eating well."

"Tiggy and Winkle haven't even got their eyes open yet and are barely a week old so need around the clock feeding." 

"Raising orphaned wildlife is extremely difficult as they need specialist milk, the right conditions and we often don't know the full history of what they have gone through or the reasons why they were found or abandoned."

"We not only have hoglets but also baby bunnies and very young birds that we are currently hand rearing at the GSPCA."

"If you find a young hoglet please search the are well and contact us or get them to the Animal Shelter as soon as you can."

For more advice on what to do if you find an injured hedgehog or wildlife in need please click here.

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