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Hog attack!

Home Forums Hedgehog tales Hog attack!

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    I feel very sad in writing this post. Very sad and responsible.

    For the last 18 months or so I’ve been feeding the hedgehogs which visit my garden. I counted six different ones. I’d leave the food in the hedgehog house on the patio so fox cubs couldn’t enter and it would be a safe place for the hogs to eat.

    Unfortunately there is a rogue fox in the neighbourhood who has started to lie in wait for them to appear. At no time has food been left out for any foxes.

    I have a wildlife camera which I set up and the fox would go up to the hogs and sniff and nudge them but then run away. Occasionally it would try to grab one, but the hogs always stood their ground. There was an incident though when one of the more timid hogs was taken by a fox. This was a couple of months ago.

    Waking up this morning though, I looked out the window and on the patio was a hog curled up. Nearby were two of its legs which the fox had chewed off. The the hog was still breathing but must have been in deep shock and pain. I managed to get the hog which I believe is a female, to Wildlife Aid in Leatherhead who are brilliant. At the time I thought the hog lost one leg but then I saw another one on the patio when I returned from the centre. Wildlife Aid will be emailing me with a response once the vet has looked at the hog. Presumably unless the vet can do something miraculous, the poor hog will have to be put down as it will be unable to survive in the wild with only two legs. Why foxes have to be so vicious and cruel I have no idea. The hog wasn’t even taken for food. A very sad day today.

    The upshot of it is the hog house where I placed the food will be taken away. The hogs – even though they have been visiting for the past 18 months, will have to find food elsewhere but at least they will be as safe as they can be without being sitting targets for the sly fox 😢.


    Hi heggie1
    How sad to hear of this. I’m not very experienced here but can only say that nature is raw in tooth and claw and there seems no way we can avoid this sort of horrid thing happening.
    You shouldn’t feel any guilt for feeding the hogs, you’ve obviously helped a lot survive. I lost 3 bantams to foxes – not all at once – as they insisted on perching in trees rather than a safe coop at night. We do our best to help the wildlife but it seems impossible to protect them from everything out there.
    If you feed birds visiting cats can be a menace in the same way, but I do feel we can only do what we can..
    Yours is such an awful story, but I am sure you will continue to watch out for the hedgies though by providing safe areas they can find food and shelter.
    Best wishes j


    Dear daffydill,

    Thank you for your message.

    I have just received a response from Wildlife Aid who said unfortunately they had to put the hog to sleep as it had lost both of its back legs and wouldn’t survive in the wild. It had a pain-free end to its life.

    Kind regards.



    oh Julia, how sad and traumatic for the wee Hedgehog let alone you finding it in such a state. You have helped them all thus far, maybe the wildlife folk can give you some advice regarding the visiting foxes in any other measures you can take or re-home the hedgehogs elsewhere. Nature is Nature unfortunately and at this time of year so many are trying to feed their young and themselves. i witnessed the local Sparrowhawk dive into our tree and snatch away a wee Siskin yesterday and at the end of last year snatch a Rock Pigeon and proceed to kill it on my lawn,horrible to witness. When do we intervene i don’t know how the wildlife documentary makers make it through their filming. The Sparrowhawk left the Pigeon as spooked and never came back so after 5mins i had to rescue it and take it to the rescue centre – alas it was put to sleep no more pain. We can only do our part the best we can, no pesticides, make the garden as safe and friendly as we can – at least the wee hedgehog wasn’t left to suffer longer outside and was gently put to sleep – hard but my heart felt wishes to you and i hope the trauma leaves you soon x

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    Hi heggie1

    I was so sorry to hear about the poor hedgehog. It all sounds very distressing for you.

    Sometimes young foxes will ‘play’ with hedgehogs and do as you described, but also sometimes foxes become ‘specialists’ at killing hedgehogs. They apparently wait until they unroll and then pounce. Of course the hogs will be more likely to unroll with foxes around if they become accustomed to them if, for example, they are fed together. I’m not suggesting you were feeding them together, but some people do.

    So thank you for being brave enough to write this on here, it can’t have been easy for you. But it’s important that people realise what foxes can do and not assume that because hedgehogs and foxes sometimes eat with each other with no problem that that will always be the case. So by writing this you may be helping other hogs as well.

    I know it’s difficult, but try not to think too badly of foxes. They are wild animals and have a whole different concept of things than we do. The problem for all wild animals is that their habitat has reduced so much that different species are more likely to come into contact with each other.

    I feel so sad for you that you’ve had to stop feeding the hedgehogs. I know how much pleasure watching them can give, so it must be a huge loss. But you have done your best for that and the other hogs and that’s all we can do.

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