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Hibernating hog?

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Hibernating hog?

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    Hi, I put a wooden hedgehog shelter under a hedge in my garden during the summer. I have seen hedgehogs around at dusk and during the night, so I also regularly put some hedgehog food and water in dishes near the shelter. Today, my wife and I were in the garden doing a bit of tidying up and cutting back dead plants when we noticed that the hedgehog shelter had fine soil mounded up to the entrance that looked like it had been heaped up from the inside. The shelter does not have a wooden floor, just soil and some hay bedding that I put inside. I have searched the internet but can’t find a definitive answer as to whether this indicates that a hedgehog may be in there, though I can’t think of anything else it might suggest. Obviously I am not going to lift up the shelter to check, so can someone please confirm whether this is likely. I will be extremely pleased if I have helped a hedgehog. I have photos, but can’t figure out how to insert one.

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    Hi Pete

    It’s difficult to say for sure and some hogs do apparently dig a bit, but unfortunately, it sounds a bit like a rat to me. If it is a rat, I imagine it would be going in and out, unless there was another hole nearby. So you could put something in the entrance, i.e. a leaf, some rolled paper, and see if it moves. If it was me, I would leave it alone, in case it’s a hog, unless I actually saw rat activity there. It is one of the drawbacks of having hog boxes without bases. Rats do like digging holes and create a surprising amount of soil and it would be quite tempting to one having a sheltered place to dig a hole.

    One way to check if you don’t have a nightcam is to use a footprint tunnel and see whether you get rat or hog footprints.

    Sorry, I know that’s not what you were hoping to hear. But it isn’t a certainty. Maybe a bit more investigation required. I hope, for your sake, it turns out to be a hog.


    Thanks very much Nic.
    After monitoring the hedgehog house for several days, there is no sign of any comings or goings. I have carefully investigated all around the perimeter of the shelter and there are no other holes around the edge where a rat could be getting in and out and no disturbance to the heaped up soil completely blocking the entrance that has been done from the inside. Therefore I’m quietly confident that there is a happily hibernating hedgehog inside.

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