Sorry to hear that Harold has gone missing Dawn and your hogs are having a hard time too Simbo65, I hope they all come back soon. I had hoped with the lockdown that there would be fewer casualties on the roads and it might turn out to be a good year for them. I used to put cameras out most nights and look forward to watching their antics, but I don’t put them out so much now and have come to dread watching the footage in case another one shows up injured…of course that’s not a problem at the moment because there are still NO HEDGEHOGS! 🙁
I had to take a young male to a carer a few weeks ago, the vet operated, but he could not be saved. He was one of Pumpkin’s offspring, a late autumn juvenile and had spent the winter in one of the hedgehog houses. After he emerged from hibernation, a small lump which he had had on his abdomen started to grow rapidly to the point where it was dragging on the floor. The vet said it was a congenital abnormality of the abdominal wall. Despite this, he had no internal or external parasites of any kind and weighed in at a healthy 763 grams – proof if ever it were needed that late autumn juveniles can survive hibernation given some supplementary feeding. All the other visiting hedgehogs looked healthy too with barely a tick between them.
Pumpkin survived what I believe was a broken back leg back in September last year. It was an agonising time because I was certain, judging by her behaviour, that she had hoglets stashed away somewhere and by taking her to get treatment I would be condemning her offspring to certain death. I was pretty sure that there were no open wounds so I decided to watch and wait and only intervene if she started to deteriorate. Slowly her leg began to heal and sure enough a few weeks later she turned up with hoglets! The leg fully recovered, although it remains slightly larger than the other one, but she is/was able to walk and scratch normally. I am convinced that something bad has happened to her and the other hedgehogs, she never strays far and is usually picked up on camera several times a night. At the back of my mind is the dreaded “Goodnature” A24 trap or similar traps used to catch grey squirrels or rats. I love to watch the antics of the grey squirrels in the garden, yes they wantonly destroy the bird feeders, dig up my bulbs, bury their nuts in the lawn and uproot my bedding plants, but I would hate to be without them. Surely it’s better to find ways to live alongside nature than destroy every living creature that we consider to be a pest along with innocent and endangered ones in the process. 🙁 🙁 🙁