ONE YEAR AGO , AN UPDATE
So it’s been one year since the boys were released into the garden , free at last to do what hedgehogs do. Grumpy is definitely still around and living in one of the hedgehog houses behind the Hibernation Arms. He was joined this year in the garden by our two new hedgehogs Bud and Stella . We also have a mysterious forth hog in residence and most activity patrol the garden and further afield at night.
Please release me , let me go.
Words Peter Hanscomb
Ask me what I’m doing,
I’ll tell you I don’t know,
i’m Just a hog,
trying to live through life,
And now it’s time to go home,
The day has arrived . It’s time to say goodbye to our overwinter guests , Grumpy and Happy and definitely a day of mixed emotions. Our hedgehogs can finally start to find their way out in the wild. And myself and Anne finally get to turn off the alarm clock on a Sunday morning !
After sixteen weeks of early mornings , cleaning cages and no overnights away, i think we just might enjoy our new found freedom and maybe book a weekend away . But in the same breath , i think we are both going to miss having our little house guests.
The end game was always to get the little chaps through winter and give them both the best chance of surviving out in the wild . They are not pets , however they have become part of our daily routine and life. Hedgehogs are undoubtedly one of the UK’s favourite mammals and we are in real danger of losing hedgehogs for ever if we don’t act , so whilst releasing two healthy adults will not change the situation alone , it’s a step in the right direction.
Sixteen weeks , sometimes hard work with early morning devastation to clear up from our hogs overnight cage-parties , indiscriminate use of bedding as a toilet and a visit back to the vets for a health check . But we both agree we have gained so much, watching their very different personalities develop . I now have a much better understanding of hedgehogs and my respect for our house guests has grown.
Of course we both have massive reservations as we head towards release. Will our two little house guests flourish out in the wild or have we just delayed nature ? All the study conducted on survival of captive raised hedgehogs post release back into the wild seem to be very inconclusive . One thing for sure is that both would not have survived the winter without intervention , they are now both well nourished and in good health and ready for the next chapter in their wild life, or at least Grumpy is .
So , Grumpy and Happy , it’s been a pleasure having you to stay .Good luck and best wishes for the future. Go get um boys !
Happy’s first time outside