Wildlife rescuers are urging people to take care while gardening after a hedgehog was impaled on a garden fork.
The little creature was discovered in a garden near Northiam while landscaping and garden clearance was taking place.
The hedgehog was delivered across to East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service’s (WRAS) Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith, near Hailsham, after it was kept in a shed for two days by the finder – who did not know what to do with it.
WRAS founder Trevor Weeks MBE said, “One of the wounds was quite smelly and infected and the second was not so bad, but both clear quite deep.
“I was expecting much worse – quite often the puncture wounds are central on the body and end up causing horrendous internal injuries and are often fatal.
“This fork luckily speared either side of the main body cavity avoiding the vital areas, this hedgehogs is extremely lucky.”
WRAS is urging gardeners to “Think Hedgehog” whilst clearing gardens and to be careful of locations where hedgehogs might be hibernating.
“They will hibernate in all sorts of locations, including under and inside of sheds, in green houses, in papas grass, in compost heaps, in thick vegetation using grass and leaves,
“We have even found them in piles of rubble, under decking surrounded by plastic bags and litter, and some have been partially buried in soil and leaves under bushes, so be careful when clearing areas, as it will not always be where you expect.
“If you do find a hedgehog, place it back and cover it exactly how found.
“They will often then go and find a new place to stay, but if they don’t seek advice. If the nest is too badly destroyed or the hedgehog is injured in anyway, call for help straight away.”
The injured hedgehog has been seen by the WRAS vet and the wounds cleaned using a warm diluted iodine bath. It is now on antibiotics and WRAS hopes he will make a full recovery.
Hedgehogs are still hibernating and depending on the weather will be in and out of hibernation till potentially April time. Any hedgehogs found out during the day time will be in need of help as they are nocturnal animals.