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Markings?

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  • #11519

    Hi; I’m a newbie to all this – though I have seen hedgehogs about here. But recently, we set up a small feeding box & have been feeding cat food (non-fish variety) and leaving water overnight for a couple of weeks. I happen to have a game camera which has shown us who visits; apart from the hedgehog & cats (they can’t access the food) we’ve also seen a fox!
    But I realized a couple of days ago that we have at least 2 hoggies! I can tell, because one of them has quite clear markings on its body; dark patches over each shoulder & a broad stripe ending in a point at the front of his hip, tapering round the bottom of his back & meeting up with one on the other side.
    I’ve looked through all the photos online & haven’t seen anything like it – though I did see a comment about some marks on another one & someone suggested perhaps the marks were revealed under Infra-red from the camera.
    Any suggestions? ( I do have photo, but don’t understand how to upload it.)

    #11521

    Nic

    Hi Yaderef

    It’s lovely to hear you have hogs there.

    It sounds to me as though the poor hedgehog has been artifiically marked. Unfortunately it seems to be becoming more common, but is, neither necessary, nor kind to the hedgehog. You might like to read BHPS’s guidance re. marking.
    https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/faq/ which I’ll copy here.
    [“Can I ‘mark’ my hedgehogs?

    We’re pretty sure a hedgehog would rather not be marked, but if you are going to do it, please do ensure that you use a non-toxic water-based marker and mark just a few spines of the hedgehog. Keep the mark away from the hedgehog’s face and mark it in the garden on the ground rather than picking it up/bringing it indoors. Please don’t use red as people may mistake it for blood and ‘rescue’ it. Do not make hedgehog conspicuous to predators. We have seen some very sad images of poor hedgehogs practically covered in paint! If you are watching the hedgehogs on a wildlife camera you will often be able to tell them apart over time without the need for marking.”]

    Unfortunately, some of the substances being used don’t appear to be water based and they are applied in far too great a quantity. Personally, I see no need to mark the hedgehogs at all – they have their own natural markings. But if only a few spines were marked as per the guidelines it wouldn’t be so bad.

    If you want to recognise your hedgehog visitors, it is possible to learn how to identify them by their natural markings. I wrote some notes for someone else under the following topic, which you might find helpful.

    Tolerant hedgies.

    Good luck with the hedgehogs and happy hog watching!

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