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What on earth wildlife website has suggested that? That’s a disgrace! Why does anyone need to mark them at all, unless, as you say, it’s part of a scientific study. I believe any interaction with hedgehogs at all should only be if it is for the benefit of that particular hog or for the benefit of hedgehogs’ as a whole. Also, marking of any kind should only be done if a licence has been obtained.
The female hog who returned after an 8 months absence has been missing again for about a month. Like you with Nagini, I keep hoping she comes back. I think maybe if she had hoglets, she may not come back until they are independent, otherwise they may follow her. The thing is, with new people beginning to feed hogs all the time, it maybe that there is someone nearer feeding. I just hope they are all feeding something decent.
I think there is a lot to be said for not recognising individual hogs. I have often thought of it myself, but at the moment don’t seem to be able to stop myself from recognising certain hogs. It does just make it very sad, though, when one you know well suddenly turns up defaced.
Fingers crossed that both females, from there and here, return soon.
P.S. I discovered, earlier, a hog asleep in the feed box – suspect it’s the little one as he was on video a bit later than usual this morning.