And then, one little nudge from this cutie and all the dominoes toppled over:
I had spotted this hedgie on Tuesday as I came home from shopping but by the time I had a chance to park my car and go back to check again it had toddled off. Not so yesterday, it was wandering forlornly around a neighbours driveway looking like it had had a night out on the tiles. Auntie Di trotted over wearing gardening gloves and scooped the little critter up. Above it's curled up in my medical assistant's hand and below was an attempt to coax it to drink:
It did lap a bit of water but was plainly exhausted, visibly shaking like a leaf and looked in danger of collapsing into the dish of water. I phoned our nearest wildlife sanctuary and after some discussion it was a case of 'Here we go again'! In the past we've rescued two other hedgies plus a couple of birds and taken them to the sanctuary and this was another such case. Sometimes birds and animals (and even a field mouse which we nursed through one Winter and then released in the Spring) will recover without us needing to troll off to the sanctuary but this prickly friend was beyond just some food and water.
Then the adventure began - the sanctuary had moved so we let the sat. nav guide us.
The staff at the sanctuary are fantastic and quickly took the situation in hand. The hedgie is a female, which I immediately christened Harriet, she is badly underweight and very de-hydrated. Externally she looks OK although her teeth aren't good apparently which could be part of the problem. She was totally happy to be checked over before being 'admitted' and this is her in one of the lovely young volunteers hands:
After signing all the paperwork and leaving more than enough to cover her for board and lodgings as a donation we set off for home again. And blow me, despite every effort to thwart the sat. nav., we found another set of scary narrow lanes! I tell you, there was a much needed glass of wine while we sat in the garden to recover before dinner.
So that was the afternoon totally gone. Hopefully Harriet will recover well and despite the teeth problem should have a good life. A lot of hedgies in this state, limbs missing or other infirmities, are released into the gardens of people who live in a safe environment with totally enclosed gardens, such as walled gardens, for them to happily set up home, have hedgie houses for hibernation and of course to be given water and the right food. In Harriet's case it's likely to be meat-based cat food or soft hedgehog food - left in the wild alone she would not have survived.