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Hogs with rear broken legs

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Hogs with rear broken legs

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    Over the last few weeks I have had three of my hogs injured on their rear right back legs. One has had its foot torn off and the other two have had bad injuries-one resulted in dying, the other has had an amputation. I think these injuries have been caused by foxes. Should I try to collect in the rest of my hogs and possibly relocate them or live in hope that they will be O.k?-I am becoming one very upset individual as I have worked very hard at building up my little colony of hedgehogs.


    Oh no! How incredibly sad. I really have no idea what you should do and hope someone with more knowledge can give you some guidance.
    I really feel for you. It must be so incredibly upsetting when we become so attached to them.

    Please keep us posted.


    It sounds typical of fox attacks on hogs – whilst the hog can protect itself from immediate danger presented by curling, the fox has a nasty trick of then waiting until the hog uncurls itself, thinking the danger has gone and tries to run off – then they grab their back legs. its a game to the fox rather than predatory reasons.
    You could report a fox problem in your area and get some council action taken – as long as its not poison put down, which would be a risk to hogs as well.
    Foxes will tend to avoid areas and gardens that have dogs – don’t know if you have a dog, or could borrow one for a while to move the foxes on. Is anyone feeding foxes in your area?
    Foxes also don’t hang around if you startle them a few times – so when we had some visiting our garden a couple of years ago, we positioned some motion sensor lighting around and I also spent a few weeks getting up at various hours to catch them out and chase them off. Being opportunistic and liking an easy life – they don’t tend to hang around if you get on their case a bit.
    Not sure how much help that is – but best of luck getting them to move on, they can be a real pest.


    After an agonising day thinking about the problem, I have decided to relocate the remaining three hogs, plus the amputee. I help a local hedgehog rescue and they have a regular site similar to mine, with a lady who monitors the release hogs in the same way I do. I know this is not ideal, and many would criticise me for moving healthy wild hogs into a different location,(about five miles.)but I really cannot bear seeing my remaining healthy hogs picked off after investing so much time, money and effort in them. I will stop putting wet food out and leave only dry food for a while, and keep an eye out to check that I have got all the remaining hogs from the colony in. Thank you for replying and giving me very sensible advice in what has been a very difficult situation. I will give it a year, then start again. At least in the future I will know what to look out for and if the same situation ever happens again, I will be able to react far more quickly.

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    Hi Anne

    I appreciate it is a really difficult situation, but before you consider relocating the hedgehogs you should read the information here, including the links contained in it.

    You might also like to consider the information contained here:

    Might it be worth trying Jan Marie’s suggestions? Are there other things you could do to deter any foxes, before considering relocation?

    I’m not even sure how the law relates to relocating healthy hedgehogs. All these things need to be considered.

    But as said, I appreciate how distressing the situation must be for you.


    Hi Anne,

    Sorry to hear about your predicament, are you sure a fox is the culprit and not a neighbour’s dog? I was talking to a wildlife friendly farmer recently who joked about how his pet dogs often found hedgehogs and carried the spiky balls up to the house. He promptly released them assuming that they would be unharmed, protected by their prickles, but we know that hogs can suffer horrific unseen injuries from curious pooches sharp teeth! I realise that it must be very distressing, but I would be inclined to try and deter the culprit rather than relocate the hedgehogs.


    Hi Anne, just to say how sorry I am to read your post. I also thought of dogs. We have a neighbour who has dogs on a lead and said they can smell hogs a mile off. Some people don’t care and let dogs run round with no leads and others, as I’m sure you know, train dogs to catch anything that moves. Your police should have a wildlife officer who may know your area and what potential problems are around. Local police may know some idiots who train dogs and a residents assos may also know if it’s going on in your area. So sad, I understand your distress and the urge to move and protect. Best wishes. X


    Hi Anne

    You need to be aware at this time of year hogs are breeding. If you move them you risk leaving babies without mum
    It is an awful situation but I think you need to work on deterring the fox and checking the dog situation.
    It would be better to stop feeding the hogs for a while rather than relocating them


    As a long term rehabber I would have to say that if you relocate those hedgehogs you may very well be sending them out to a certain death. You should never take them away from a home range and the assumption, you have no actual proof, that foxes have done this, may be well wide of the mark.

    We have taken in a number of hogs this year with back legs gone all from areas where there are no foxes. We’ve had hogs with front legs gone, rat traps. We had one in with three legs missing and only one back leg left. We have no idea what caused that.

    Please do not jump on an unproven culprit because somebody somewhere suggested that it could be something, it might not be. You could also be taking mums away from babies.


    In respect of releasing back to the wild, is it better to release to a new site if the original site is dangerous I.e near main road? Or should you always release back to where you rescued them from?

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    Hi Bluebean

    The sad fact is that there are dangers everywhere for hogs. Hogs can travel up to 2 miles in a night, so you will see that they are likely to be near a main road in a lot of places. In some ways quiet country roads can be just as dangerous as they may think it is safer to cross and then a vehicle suddenly comes along.

    So the answer to your question is: Hedgehogs should be released back where they came from. There they will be familiar with the surroundings, etc.

    You might find it helpful to read the following for further information and also, if you haven’t already, some of the comments above.

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