Jo’s parents found baby hedgehogs in their garden for three Fridays in a row during September this year. The animals were late babies – too small to survive the winter – so Jo’s father Roy drove the 20-odd miles to take them to the Wormit Hedgehog Care Centre, across the River Tay from Dundee. Jo and I took the third animal to the Care Centre while we were in Scotland and met owner Sandy Boyd, pictured here.
Sandy devotes his life to running the Care Centre. He gave us a tour of the centre, which he has built himself to fill the back garden of his semi-detached house. His hedgehog patients live here before returning to the wild (where possible) and Sandy has learned everything there is to know about hedgehogs. He told us quite a lot about the care and feeding of the animals, including tips to pass on through our websites.
If you find a baby hedgehog this time of year, put it in a sturdy box with some paper or towel to keep it warm. Feed it cat food (not fish), puppy food, meal worms (although not too many as they can get hooked) and beetles. Do not feed them bread and milk, as they are lactose intolerant and so this can upset their stomachs. Also don’t feed them slugs, as they have very little nutritional value: no good for a baby hedgehog needing to put on weight.
If you live elsewhere in Britain, here’s a list of other hedgehog carers:
Update January 2018: here’s a guide on how to look after hedgehogs, by Clive Harris.