Before moving to this country, I had never seen a hedgehog before. There are no hedgehogs native to America, just as there are no porcupines native to U.K. I also naively thought hedgehogs were related to the porcupines, but there is no connection between the two, besides the fact they both have quills of some sort. A few weeks ago my kids and their friends saw a hedgehog out front by our house. The kids ran down and took some photos and were bemused for a while but eventually I had them come in. They were concerned as it had a few ticks on its body. We didn’t do anything. I remembered a friend had contacted a local hedgehog rescue centre after finding one wrapped up in sweaters in her garage. I contacted the centre regarding the hedgehog that we had seen and they said hedgehogs are rarely out in daytime unless they are unwell and if we were to see it again might be worth bringing in. We haven’t seen it again yet, but it did start me on a campaign to learn more about hedgehogs. There are lots of different breeds of hedgehogs but the European hedgehog is the one that is in decline. This is mainly because of badgers and foxes that like the hedgehog delicacy and also because of their unfortunate encounters with cars. Combine that with trimmers and slug pellets and you have a species that is on the endangered list. Hedgehogs are good climbers and swimmers and enjoy snacking on peanuts, raisins, berries, melons and mushrooms. The end of November is a busy time for hedgehogs as a lot of juvenile hedgehogs come out then to strike out on their own. To learn even more about hedgehogs or to support the cause please contact:
www.pricklytales.wordpress.com or prickly tales on Facebook (only Oxfordshire rescue centre)
www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk This site also has a wealth of information and good colouring pages for kids!