I haven’t read his book, keep meaning to get a copy – but I have been working with local rescue on care and release strategy and make use of the Kay Bullen book and BHPS materials.
I know not all those re-released make it, which is a shame – but we have had quite good success rates with the ones we have release locally certainly.
The handling and disturbance of them is very much minimised whilst in captivity, and they certainly continue to recognise us as a threat whilst kept, which is a good thing.
I’m concluding that the behaviour seen by Seb is an early anointing ritual as he tries to cover his unusual smell taken on? Others seem to be thinking the same thing could be the case? I’ve just never seen them do that before! I expect it will take him a while to get his wild smell back.
He’s at no immediate risk by predators where we live, but does have access to small (predator free) woodland at the back. We will continue to provide him ready access to food should he need it over the next days and weeks.
so – I’m really hopeful he will return successfully to the wild – we do have a reasonable supply of wild hedgehogs in the area too, possibly even offspring from previous year releases – so that may help him adjust.
I know – its never a given that they will make it as individuals, and the reasons for that are plentiful, include reduced immunity. But we think we are seeing our local hog numbers increase slightly as a result of efforts.