THE arrival of an unexpected prickly pal at the end of the garden at a Leeds nursery school, has given youngsters scope for a new nature project.
The sickly hedgehog turned up full of fleas and smelling foul, at Swinnow Primary School’s nursery last Thursday, and staff and pupils feared the worst.
He was taken to Vets 4 Pets in Pudsey, which looked after him for four nights.
Now the spiky creature has been revived.
Joanne Hall, teaching assistant, said: “He wasn’t moving very much so we thought we would try to help him, as he was unwell and very smelly. Luckily the vets have worked a miracle and he has come back fully recovered after being on a drip and has been fed up. He is now revived and has been returned to us before we release him back to his natural habitat.
“Now the children know all about hedgehogs, it has caused much excitement.”
She said they had fed him with worms, cat food and plenty of water. The children had to hold him in a soft cover due to his prickles.
Now Stinky is making the most of the nursery’s spacious wildlife garden and has been exploring, as the youngsters aged three and four, make hedgehog paintings and learn more about the creature and his habits.
Nursery pupil Brooke Taylor, four, pictured, said: “Stinky the hedgehog feels very prickly. He is much better now. He likes his new home.” Lucas Hall, four, added: “We called him Stinky because he was very stinky.”
Staff and pupils have created a hog house as the end of the school’s garden, out of logs, sticks and straw. They are hoping that Stinky may choose to use the house as a home.
Children’s centre manager Sarah Haigh added: “We build our curriculum around real life experiences, as it is the best way to learn. We have a wonderful outside space which is a prominent feature of our learning experience. The youngsters have learned about lots of new things, thanks to Stinky, including about people who help us, like vets.”
The hedgehog’s back and spine are covered in one inch long spines, which are really modified hairs. There is approximately 5-7,000 spines on each adult.
They like to eat beetles, caterpillars, worms They will also eat petfood if it is left out, and a small plate of water is welcomed by them.
Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets. They are fairly vocal and communicate through a combination of grunts, snuffles and or squeals, depending on species. They can live for up to seven years in the wild.