There is no evidence to suggest that wild European hedgehogs carry or transmit Coronavirus but the worldwide outbreak is starting to have a significant impact on the work of wildlife hospitals and hedgehog rescues around the UK.
Many hedgehog hospitals and other wildlife rescues rely on volunteers, a large and regular supply of food and medicines and access to vet services. All of these things are being affected by Coronavirus.
The volunteers in many wildlife hospitals are older and more vulnerable and many wildlife rescues are having to run without their usual volunteer army, reducing the numbers of animals that they can help. Limits on the purchase of food at supermarkets also means that some are struggling to get the food supplies they need. You can’t feed many hedgehogs on two boxes of cat food…. Just take a look at what a small rescue needs to operate. The price of many vital medicines and treatments has also sky rocketed. Hygiene is vital in wildlife rescue and so we are also affected by the shortage of sanitisers and other cleaning products.
Many vets are also now restricting services with many operating on an emergencies only basis. This will affect access to routine treatments for hedgehogs and other wildlife and also services, such as x-rays, to identify broken limbs or infected bones.
Some wildlife rescues have had to severely limit their intakes as a result of all these factors. Others have closed completely. Those that remain are managing to continue with new measures in place for contactless drop off and pick up of animals. We all need donations of food, equipment and money to help keep going.
Please think about your local wildlife hospital during this difficult time and support them if you can. You can read my blog about how to find your nearest hedgehog hospital here.
I run a hedgehog rescue based in York. I remain open at the moment with new procedures in place for dropping off and collecting hedgehogs to ensure no contact.
If you would like to support my work, you can read more here and I also make wildlife jewellery inspired by the nature and wildlife in my wildlife garden if you are looking for a little treat that also helps hedgehogs. Take a look at my online shop www.littlesilverhedgehog.etsy.com
Thank you so much for your support.
Emma and the hedgehogs