AN urgent appeal has gone out to help save baby hedgehogs from a certain winter death.
Tins of cat food are desperately needed to help Selby’s Wildlife Rescue centre feed around 30 hedgehogs over winter. They survive on meaty types of cat food.
The centre in Barlby also needs coal to heat the stove to keep rescued animals warm.
Annette Pyrah, founder of Selby Wildlife Rescue said: “Summer lasted well into October this year and hedgehogs had their second litter of babies very late in the season. Unfortunately, these little ones won’t have sufficient time to put on the necessary weight to survive hibernation.
“Sadly the chances of a hedgehog weighing less than 650g and emerging alive next spring are almost zero. Some hedgehogs being brought to us are the size of a tennis ball and weigh just over 200g. These youngsters will be with us for months and will need lots of specialist care and attention.”
Annette urges people to keep a lookout for underweight hedgehogs in their gardens and also whilst walking in the countryside.
“Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures and any spotted out in daylight hours should set alarm bells ringing. These little hedgehogs should be picked up, kept warm and taken to a wildlife or hedgehog rescue as quickly as possible.
“Hedgehogs may look robust with their spiky appearance, but in actual fact they go downhill very rapidly. Quick action may mean the difference between life and death. Meaty cat food can be offered, but please never give a hedgehog cow’s milk as they are lactose intolerant.”
Annette added: “Having so many baby hedgehogs in rescue means we are going through cat food and mealworms at an alarming rate.
“We are desperate for tinned cat food and also coal to keep the wildlife cabin warm. Hedgehogs are in rapid decline and have become seriously endangered. In the 1950’s, the hedgehog population was estimated to be 30 million.
“Today, the figure has dropped to under one million. This wildlife rescue is doing all that it can to ensure that our children and grandchildren will still have the enjoyment of seeing this enchanting little mammal.”
Anyone who would like to help can drop donations at Low Mill, York Road, Barlby, YO8 5JP, choose an item from the rescue’s Amazon wishlist or visit the website www.selbywildlife.co.uk or call 07803 180720.