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Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Our little hog friend of last year hasn't reappeared Reply To: Our little hog friend of last year hasn't reappeared

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Hi Annie

I was so sorry to hear about your Mum. You spoke so nicely about her. Sorry you’ve been having such a rough time recently.

I’m so pleased that you now have young Henry to cheer you up. Re. The tail – sometimes it is just how tall they are standing on their legs whether it shows or not, but it would be nice if Henry has a companion. Really good to know he is doing so well.

The very night I wrote last, a mouse appeared again. Would you believe it! So I’m back to getting dozens of mouse videos. As of a couple of days ago, I also have 3 hogs visiting. I spotted, on video, a small hoglet on the grass (sadly, already excessively marked even though it’s so small) and it was back last night eating some food. Really cute. Maybe it was Digger’s! It would be nice to think so. The trouble with Digger is that she has visited here almost every night (except for hibernation and hoglet breaks) for at least 4 years, so I don’t know why she would suddenly stop coming if she was still around. If she doesn’t come back, she has done pretty well and there must be a few of her offspring running around.

I always think Splash might have been Digger’s, because she has some of her mannerisms even though she is much paler. Also the night before last, there was another hog there with Splash. I think it was the little one I saw a while back who looked like a smaller version of Splash. If so, it has grown a bit and now has some differentiating features. I don’t think Splash was all that ‘amused’ at having to share ‘her’ feeding area with another hog. Both, at different times, seem to spend a fair amount of time foraging on the grass. One of them, I think the new one ‘Mask’, spent the day in the feed box yesterday! No bedding at all. Just a few poos in there this morning!

I also saw Splash tackling a medium sized slug. She seemed to roll it around a bit first but then started eating. She ate a little bit, went away and then went back again, a few times. I have never seen a hog eating a slug that big before. There was still some food left, so that wasn’t the reason.

The problem with hogs, and whether they are related to each other, is that we keep hearing about quite large numbers of hogs which are being released in various places, so there is really no way of knowing. I just hope that the areas of release are properly and thoroughly researched beforehand (including making contact with any local hog watchers), to ensure that any further releases are not going to impact adversely on any existing population. I fear that this may not always be the case. There may be a healthy population in an area which is the size that the local habitat can support and introducing more may put them all at risk. It seems to me it would be desirable if there was some sort of standard by which all rescues had to abide. There appears to be a bit of a free for all, with standards varying widely and anyone being able to set up a rescue, however limited their knowledge may be. I know they are trying to help the hogs, but that doesn’t mean that, sometimes, the way things are gone about are not misguided.

I also fear that human intervention might not always be in the long term interests of the hedgehogs. In our desire to help we may, inadvertently, be creating a less robust hedgehog who comes to rely solely on handouts from humans. Too much emphasis is put on feeding hedgehogs and not enough on improving/increasing suitable habitat for them. It would be a sad day, I feel, if hogs only exist by relying completely on handouts.

It’s a shame about your neighbour’s fence. Near here, not long ago, they put in quite a long stretch of that really tall curbing that is sort of curved and almost seems to have a bit of an overhang. It looks as if a hog wouldn’t be able to get up it at all. That might be why I found a poor dead hog not far away from there on the other side of the road a few months ago. I thought they were supposed to be making roads better for hogs, not worse. Makes me so cross. I can’t even see why such a thing is necessary where it is.

Your young magpie sounds a character! The blackbirds here are still missing, but the sparrows all try to crowd into the birdbath together and send water flying in all directions. The starlings also seem to have a lovely time at their daily bath, emptying an inch or two of water out of one of my tub ‘ponds’. I wonder what the poor frogs think of the invasion! I’m not sure how many there are now, but at least one spotty one and another smaller darker one. The large one sometimes makes me jump – by jumping(!) – when I am replenishing the water in the evening.

I had to laugh about ‘how do people find time to wear all those things’. So true!