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Releasing a hedgehog
Releasing a hedgehog

 

Here is some information if we have been looking after a hedgehog which you found and it is now time to go back into the wild:

                                           

HOW TO RELEASE A HEDGEHOG INTO THE WILD AFTER A PERIOD IN CARE  

 

Hedgehogs should be released at dusk or after dark on a mild evening, it is OK even in a mild spell in winter in Jersey - as long as they are fat enough to survive hibernation (minimum weight  650g).  Damp conditions are good - hard ground (either from frost in winter or drought in summer) makes finding food difficult for them.  We always try to put them back as near to where they were found as is safe and sensible.  They do know their own home area and so it is usually only those found, for example, in the middle of town or on the beach who get moved away (to the outskirts of town or inland from the beach where they were found).

 

 

The hedgehog will have spent some time in an outside pen or enclosed garden before release to get acclimatised. To make the transition back to the wild as gentle as possible, we would like you to put out some food and water at least for the first few nights or until it remains uneaten.  To stop cats or birds getting the food, you can put it under an upside-down box with a hole cut out of the side or under a slab on 2 bricks. If the hedgehog disappears on the first night and does not touch the food, then there is no need to continue to leave some out for it.  A bowl of water on the ground all the time, but especially in dry weather is very welcome for all wildlife. And of course if you have gained a regular garden visitor, it would be nice to continue providing extra food for him. Any sort of cat or dog food, either tinned or dry biscuits are suitable.  You can also buy special hedgehog food from pet shops and garden centres.

 

The hedgehog will be given to you in a sack of hay which should be put on its side in a sheltered place, near where you found it (under a hedge or bush or by your shed).  It will come out in its own time (once you have stopped watching) and go on its way!   We may have marked it in some way with an ear tag  (if so, you will be given the number on the tag) or if we have used  some nail varnish we will tell you the colour, if you  cannot see these and would like to keep tabs on it for a little while you could put a little dab of emulsion paint on its spines, but be careful to avoid the skin.

If you have an enclosed or walled garden please DON’T put the hedgehog inside.  It is very cruel to keep a healthy hedgehog in one garden.  They need to wander about one mile per night, especially in the mating season

Thank you for your concern and for releasing this hedgehog






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