Wildlife, Special and fragile
by Anne Hanscomb
Attracting wildlife into the garden has given us so much pleasure and entertainment over the last few years.
From the baby starlings being fed peanut butter by mum , the squirrel tapping the patio door for his breakfast, the hedgehogs that we fostered over winter starting the next chapter of freedom and the foxes being so clever at opening the hedgehog feeding station to pinch the food.
However the last few weeks have bought it home that this is wildlife and there is only so much we can do.
We have had a fox ( if you follow the blog you know he’s called GG) who has a bad case of mange. By the powers of Facebook and the RSPCA and a local rescue centre we have set up a humane trap to get him the proper treatment. He is so clever . He goes into the trap and nibbles bits off the meat but so gently that it doesn’t set the trap off. Although he’s enjoying the mange tablets wrapped in Canadian cheddar cheese every evening.
So today we have some sad news but it’s not about GG. Last week there was a dead hedgehog in the next road. It had been run over and we will presume it was on its way to our garden . Although I hope we are not the only people who feed them . We often have 3 hedgehogs at the same time in the garden but last night there was only one.
So you may be thinking we often drive past dead animals in the road but last night was different …….
At about 930 we had just left the foxes to their bowls of chicken , roast potato and Yorkshire puddings ( no guessing that we had roast dinner tonight ), when we looked out the window and saw a hedgehog in the road not moving . It hadn’t been there just 2 minutes earlier.
We ran out and it was bleeding heavily from its nose . We picked it up wrapped it in towels to keep it warm put it in a small cage and frantically tried finding assistance.
The local rescue centre is not 24/7.
The local vets have a call centre passing on messages !
Tiggywinkles ( world renowned hedgehog rescue centre) didn’t think it would survive the one hour journey to them but we were welcome to try.
However the RSPCA arranged for us to rush it to a vet only 10 minutes away and agreed to pay any costs .
We did wonder if it was dead now but it hadn’t been when we picked it up so there was no way we were going to just leave it without checking.
Have you ever tried to find the pulse of a hedgehog?
Driving out the street not too fast in case we ran over any other wildlife and still trying to get this little guy to some help was so upsetting.
The vets were lovely but sadly the little one had died when we arrived, despite our best efforts.
Devastated is an understatement and sat here today battling with the fact it’s our fault he crossed the road to come to our garden for food .
My husband said it could have happened on any road and at least he has been well fed in our garden . They get a small buffet every night but it still feels awful .
Having seen 2 dead hedgehogs in just one week in our area, who are probably ones who have entertained me over the past weeks months or even years really brings it home how special and fragile wildlife is.
© wildonline 2019