East Cambridgeshire duo leading the fight back against hedgehog decline
PUBLISHED: 08:23 15 August 2014 | UPDATED: 08:23 15 August 2014
The fight to save the humble hedgehog from disappearing has begun and volunteers in East Cambridgeshire are leading the way.
According to the RSPCA, hedgehog numbers have plummeted from some 30 million in the 1950s, to barely a million today.
If that trend continues, the hedgehog could be extinct by 2025.
But Carole Hebbard, of Little Downham, has established Hebbard’s Hedgehog Hotel, caring for injured and rescued hedgehogs before rehabilitating them and releasing them back into the wild.
Carole has been running the hotel for the last three years and says that, although the situation is becoming worse - with an increasing number of hedgehogs being brought to her every year - she is being given the opportunity to save more animals.
So far this year, Carole has rescued 15 hedgehogs which would otherwise have died.
Carole has teamed up with veterinary nurse Amber Vale, of Isle Veterinary Group, who treats and monitors any injured hedgehogs before handing them on to Carole.
The duo’s latest arrivals were four newborn hedgehogs, which were born unexpectedly after their injured mother was brought in for an operation and gave birth a few days later.
Sadly, the mother has since died but the orphans are being looked after by Amber and it is hoped that, when they are strong enough, they will be returned to the wild.
Carole said: “Someone will call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and they will call me and I go and pick the hedgehog up and take them for a check up.
“We need to save hedgehogs because they are becoming rarer and rarer.”
Giving advice to homeowners, Amber said: “Hedgehogs are nocturnal and only come out in the day time if something is wrong. Any hedgehog that is out in the day, bring them inside and then straight in to a vet.”
Amber has also offered to give talks on hedgehogs to local schools and community groups.
Contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890 801, Isle Veterinary Group on 01353 658333 or search for Hebbard’s Hedgehog Hotel on Facebook.