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Release site for hedgehog

Home Forums Champions’ chat Release site for hedgehog

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    My friend took in a young adult hog found out yesterday morning. After a good drink and something to eat (and an overnight stay just to be sure that the hog’s issue seamed to be soley dehyration and nothing else), all seems well now and the little one is keen to go. Its very lively and curls up really well when trying to have a look see. My question is this…should a hog be returned to a place it was obviously struggling in in the first place? I am an advocate for release where found, but if water and food sources have dried up, would it not be better to release in areas where there are sufficient resources? I have offered to release the hog into my garden (lots of hogs here, food, water etc), but what are peoples thoughts and experiences on releasing into unfamiliar territory!!!


    Hi Hoglips,

    all captive hogs will be keen to leave – even those who aren’t very well will scale vertical surfaces to escape.
    is this hog a female do you know – and could she be lactating / feeding young? if so – its important you put her back where she was found ASAP as she may still have live babies that need her.
    have you checked the hog over for anything obvious and did the hog eat and drink normally whilst captive?
    when the hog curled up was it a nice round ball shape or a pinched rugby ball shape? have you weighed it and checked for tick or parasite overburdening?
    Could your friend who found the hog not be in a position to support with food and drink where found for a while?
    theory is its best to release back where found – unless there are circumstances that prevent this. One of the reasons for this is that they think hogs build up resistance to local bacteria etc which they wouldnt have in a new territory – however – its always a balance of risk. I think the risk here is that at this time of year, if a female, she could have young?


    Thanks Jan-Marie…
    I haven’t seen the hog myself, but i shall pass this info on as you make very valid points. I believe the hog was found on a nursery car park and there was little clue as to where it wandered there from as the area doesn’t look a likely hedgehog habitat. I asked the lady to check undetneath it for fly strike/ injury etc, but she vould not get it to unfurl. She did say howevet that it drank lots and ate well too. She doesn’t live by the site where it was found so wouldn’t be able to leave water/ food out. 😕
    I shall ask her to check again (as to whether lactating female) and on balance, given your advise, make a decision.
    Thanks x


    Ok…my friend just posted a pic and it does look very small, possibly one of this year’s early youngsters. She’s also managed to have a good look underneath and all looks clean and healthy…also is nice and round, not pinched. (I’m rubbish at uploading pics- one day i’ll fathom it😮)
    A lady at the nursery is going to leave food and water out daily in a hedge at the nursery, so it can be released where it was found tonight. Best outcome i think 😁


    Hi Hoglips,

    sounds like a good decision. Sounds like you may have also enrolled another hog advocat into the bargain. I assume you have clarified what constitutes good and bad food for hogs. I’m guessing as well – but there will probably be more of them turn up once the food and water goes down regularly!


    We have recently gone on to our local animal rescue centre as a release site (back into the wild) fo hedgehogs. They said we may get ones from a different area to strengthen the gene pool. I assume limited hogs in an area are mating with relatives. Does this sound right to you? It is not a hedgehog specific rescue


    Hi simbo65,

    I have heard this mentioned also – and there are mixed opinions – as you can imagine. The male hogs themselves seem to have done a good job historically of mixing up the gene pool as a result of their frequent roaming tendencies I expect – and this has worked out for them for the last 15 million or more years as they still around to demonstrate that. But I also think that the restrictions to access that we continue to challenge them with at an ever increasing rate as we develop / overdevelop and put more roads and traffic in place – will no doubt – be having a negative effect on that too. the flooding we see will also play a part in wiping out colonies (or arrays) of hogs I expect. however – yes – the hog rescue I work alongside is never keen to re-release in areas where there are recognised risks (foxes, badgers, heavy roads and traffic or abuse – which is often why the hogs turn up for help in the first place) so support the re-release in alternative areas where there are already hogs living happily. so I dont think its of huge significance either way.


    The hog seemed good to go….had been drinking still and eating (hedgehog biscuits and cat food)…but sadly, come dusk, thr hedgehog had passed away. My friend is feeling bereft, gutted, guilty, as you do when this happens as it was unexpected, and sadly not uncommon i know. I forgot to mention, various vets had declined taking in the hoggie due to being inundated, hence her decision to do for it what she could at home (which was better than nothing).
    Anyway- this morning- another hoggie was found at the nursery again, same size, state of dehyration etc. After numerous calls to rescues, finally one came up trumps and offered to take it in.
    On assessment, it is 5 weeks old. Some diarrohoea present but lively as a cricket. Fingers crossed for the little one.
    The good thing is that the nursery staff are going to leave out food and water each night before shutting shop.

    And on the issue of site release…i guess common sense has to prevail. Each case on its merits …or lack of them


    Thank you for that information. we are in a fairly safe area. But we do get the odd fox. No badgers. We await our first release with great anticipation!

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    Hi Hoglips

    So sorry to hear about the little. Sounds as if your friend did her very best for the hog in difficult circumstances. I know how frustrating it can be when everywhere is full and I’m glad to hear that someone has been able to take the latest little one in. I hope it does well. As you say, the good thing about it, is that now the nursery are leaving food and water out – which may well save many hogs, so your friend has done a good job.


    I agree Nic…something good came of it. Fingers crossed for the other little one.🤞


    Hi Hoglips,

    The anguish of caring for these little critters is that don’t all make it and by the time they are spotted it is often too late. It’s heartbreaking.
    I would encourage the continuation of putting some food and lots of water out in safe areas as there will undoubtedly be more around in the area found.
    A mistake people often make is in thinking they don’t have any hogs around as they haven’t seen them, probably for years. Putting a little food and some water out is likely to prove that they are around- just avoiding us! Please encourage all folks you know to do this

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

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