A CAMPAIGN has been launched by the owner of Malvern Hedgehog Rescue Centre in a bid to protect the prickly creatures from deep holes left by road maintenance workers.
It comes after resident Anna Steele saved a pregnant hedgehog from drowning in a deep hole full of water on Beauchamp Road.
She said: “I was on my way back from Sainsbury’s and saw this thing struggling in the water.
“Passers-by came to help and in the end I managed to put my umbrella in there, open it out and scoop up the hedgehog.”
She took it home and wrapped it in a blanket before contacting Malvern Hedgehog Rescue Centre.
The creature was taken to Whitehouse Vets where she was put under a heat lamp to warm her up.
She was then kept in at the Malvern rescue centre and Viv Smith, who runs the centre, noticed from a microchip that the hedgehog had been in twice before and it was then suspected she was pregnant.
She gave birth to at least two live babies but did not have the strength to care for them and rejected them as a result of the trauma she had suffered.
The babies subsequently died.
Viv said: “All this could have been avoided if steps were taken to cover the hole.
“And it is not just hedgehogs, it is all kinds of wildlife.
“Some of these holes are so big they would even have caused problems to a pet dog or even a person.”
Viv started a petition on change.org calling on maintenance companies and local authorities to protect holes by putting closed panelled barriers around them when they are left unattended.
Currently a lot of the barriers have gaps at the bottom, easily big enough for many animals to get through.
“Lady Beauchamp – as we’ve called her – was so lucky to be found, had it been any longer, she would have died as well.
“I would urge people just to take two minutes to sign the petition and really make a difference to wildlife, not just in Malvern but around the UK.”
To sign the petition, click here.
For more information, go to Malvern Hedgehog Rescue Facebook page.