In September we were called to a house where a mother hedgehog had made a nest and given birth to 4 hoglets.
Whilst cleaning his car, a guy opened his garage door, in those few seconds mum crawled in and made a nest in a spare wheel cover. Two days later she was accidentally disturbed and found.
We went to collect and couldn’t believe seeing 1-2 day old hoglets, so late in the year. We picked them up using gloves, so we didn’t leave our scent on them, and quickly took them back to the sanctuary and put into a makeshift nest.
Each night mum was eating, but we dared not disturb her to check on the hoglets. If we left any human scent on the babies, she would reject them, there was a risk that she had already rejected them from being disturbed in the first place.
Two weeks later, we heard the mum in some discomfort and feared for her, unfortunately she later died. We fear that worm burden had killed her.
For us this is a dilemma, we normally look for worms in the feces on admission and treat, but we could not do this for a lactating mum.
The problem now was hand rearing 4 very young hoglets, this is very hard from such a young age and very time consuming with feeds starting at 4am, throughout the day every 4 hours until 11pm. Each feed and toileting taking over 30 minutes.
Several weeks on and with the help of star volunteer Keyly, 3 had unfortunately died probably from worm burden, but Keyly managed to save this chap who is now well out of danger and almost weaned.
So we didn’t mange to save them all, but without us none would have survived, so late in the season and we have one to release in the spring, he/she will be released close to where her dedicated mum gave birth to her. A sad story with a part happy end.