Five Little Hedgehogs Saved
While out walking early evening in December 2020, we heard some pretty awful cries coming from the drain. When we went to investigate we found that it was a tiny hedgehog. A crying baby hedgehog is one of the most mournful cries you can hear from the animal kingdom. So into my pocket it went. Then the next day we found another three, all fighting for the food in the same dried-up drain. They were shaky on their feet from lack of food and water. We already had a little hedgehog from a week earlier, so there were five to take care of in the end. They went through tonnes of food. And cat food is one of the easiest to feed the little guys when dry times hit and there are no snails, slugs or worms to be found anywhere.
Unfortunately, hedgehogs in NZ are being given the name pest. This is really sad. Late one night I was out checking the wildlife around the place and noticed the grass was alive with slugs. Everywhere you walked (very carefully)… thousands upon thousands of slugs upon the heavily dewed grass. And guess who was out cleaning them up…hedgehogs. But unfortunately they are being given a bad rap sheet for eating other young animals and ground birds' eggs. But stray cats, dogs, wild pigs, rats, stoats, weasels, ferrets, possums, pukekos, kingfishers, etc., (oh, the list goes on) do exactly the same. Well, anyway we cannot allow the little guys to suffer so we pop them in our pockets and take them home until they can survive on their own. Oh, and those who think NZ hedgehogs are still flea-free no, not any longer, as of last year (2020) they have fleas! Nasty ones who like humans too! Bugger me, where's my flea collar!
PS The actual history about how hedgehogs became to be in N.Z is pretty amazing. Will try and dig up the research I have done and post the story. There is an old newspaper which has the arrival of hedgehogs to NZ recorded.
Posted: Friday 21 May 2021