IT’S Hedgehog Awareness Week and the mark the occasion the RSPCA has revealed it dealt with 61 incidents involving the prickly pals in Worcestershire last year.
They were just one part of the 1,246 wildlife incidents the charity dealt with in the county.
Nationwide more than 2,700 hedgehogs were admitted to RSPCA national wildlife centres last year with almost 12,000 coming through their doors in the past five years.
Traditionally, April starts to see more hedgehogs coming into the charity, as they leave hibernation in search of food as rescue teams see a surge in other wildlife in spring such as birds, as the breeding season gets underway.
Despite the lockdown, RSPCA rescue teams are continuing on the frontline as designated key workers and the charity has launched an emergency appeal to help it continue to rescue, rehabilitate and release the animals most in need through the crisis.
RSPCA scientific officer Evie Button said: “Regardless of coronavirus, wild animals still need rescuing by the RSPCA and breeding season is the start of a really busy time for us.
“We’ll have lots of calls about baby birds, orphaned fox cubs and hedgehogs which have come out of hibernation and need help to build up their body weight.
“It’s Hedgehog Awareness Week which is very appropriate as these much-loved prickly creatures are the most frequent visitor to our wildlife centres.”
The most common reasons hedgehogs come into the RSPCA are because they are orphaned, underweight, injured or exhibiting abnormal behaviour indicative of ill health.
Top 10 wildlife species admitted to the UK’s four RSPCA wildlife centres in 2019
1. Hedgehog – 2770
2. Wood pigeon – 1926
3. Herring gull – 1779
4. Mallard duck – 1298
5. Feral pigeon – 885
6. Blackbird – 706
7. Mute swan – 692
8. Collared dove – 414
9. House sparrow – 410
10. Goldfinch – 343
Last year the RSPCA responded to 4,818 hedgehog related incidents* – that’s an average of 13 a day.