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Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Hedgehog identification Reply To: Hedgehog identification

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Hi Phasmainmachina

It sounds as if the hedgehog you are talking about ‘chuckling’ as she wanders around, may be unwell. It isn’t normal for hedgehogs to make a ‘chuckling’ noise as they walk around. I would suggest that you get contact details of your nearest hedgehog carer from the BHPS 01584 890801 then ring them and describe the sound the hedgehog is making, and when, in more detail and take their advice.

I’m sorry, but I can’t agree with you regarding hedgehogs natural markings. Have you checked out the tips to help identify hedgehogs above. They do indeed have different distinguishing features if you look carefully enough for them.

We all need to remember that hedgehogs have a much better sense of smell than we have, so what may seem comparatively odourless to us, may smell quite strongly to them. They rely much more heavily on their sense of smell than we do. They do not have particularly good eyesight and are out in the dark anyway.

I did make the proviso in what I said that it was fair enough if it was for the benefit of the hedgehogs, or hedgehogs in general (but only in those circumstances) – which may have been the case in the release you referred to. In that case the BHPS suggestions should be followed that only a very few spines should be marked and only with non-toxic water-based substance. Also ensuring that the substance doesn’t reach the skin.

But if it is not for the benefit of a particular hedgehog or hedgehogs as a whole, who are we doing it for? We would not pick up our neighbours tabby cat and mark it so that we could distinguish it from the tabby down the road, so why would anyone pick up a hedgehog, which similarly does not belong to them, and mark it.

If someone is not prepared to spend the time identifying a hedgehog by it’s natural markings then, to my mind, they are not spending enough time to warrant marking a hedgehog.

The following is taken from faqs from the BHPS.

Can I ‘mark’ my hedgehogs?
We’re pretty sure a hedgehog would rather not be marked, but if you are going to do it, please do ensure that you use a non-toxic water-based marker and mark just a few spines of the hedgehog. Keep the mark away from the hedgehog’s face and mark it in the garden on the ground rather than picking it up/bringing it indoors. Please don’t use red as people may mistake it for blood and ‘rescue’ it.  Do not make hedgehog conspicuous to predators.  We have seen some very sad images of poor hedgehogs practically covered in paint!  If you are watching the hedgehogs on a wildlife camera you will often be able to tell them apart over time without the need for marking.

Good luck with the hedgehog. I hope you manage to get treatment for it, if it’s required.