You may have seen on national TV recently, a reality TV programme based in a veterinary practice, featuring a partially sighted wild hedgehog called Hetty.In our opinion the item gave a completely incorrect message of how to care for a wild hedgehog. From what we saw, and we realise TV reality programmes are often highly edited, the message being presented suggests that:
- You can keep wild hedgehogs indoors with your domestic pets
- You can handle wild hedgehogs during the day (when they should be sleeping) or at any time
- You can bath wild hedgehogs
- You can talk to wild hedgehogs as though they are a domestic pet
- It doesn’t matter if a wild hedgehog is very overweight(excess weight is dangerous on a number of levels. Apart from stopping them from curling, their main form of defence, an overweight hedgehog risks joint problems and liver disease, which can lead to a premature death).
All of these things arecontrary to what we understand to be good wild hedgehog management, an understanding gained from diligent research and professional advice.Snuffles would under no circumstances condone this method of caring for a wild hedgehog.
At Snuffles we do have a policy,where possible,to release medically stable blind and partially sighted hedgehogs into safe, secure and fully enclosed gardens after garden visits and where the hedgehog can be closely supervised. We believe it is important that wild hedgehogs are treated as such and should never be treated like domestic pets.
If you saw the programme please be assured that this is not the way that Snuffles Hedgehog Rescue treats wild hedgehogs in its care.