Help the hedgehogs this winter

MILNGAVIE and Bearsden residents are being urged to do their bit to help hedgehogs through the cold winter months.

If you find one in your garden, phone The Scottish SPCA animal helpline and they will collect it so they can feed it and keep it warm.

Staff at the charity’s Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fife are caring for 40 hedgehogs at the moment, the majority of which are too small to survive outside during the cold weather.

Centre manager Colin Seddon said: “Hedgehogs should be hibernating by now but there will be some out there who won’t survive without help.

“Most of those in our care have either been caught out by the bad weather and didn’t have enough time to store up the necessary body fat to go into hibernation or are from late litters, which is quite common.

“These youngsters will be out foraging for food such as earthworms, beetles, slugs, snails, insects, fruit and carrion but they’ll be finding it very difficult because of the cold weather.

“Many of them have arrived in our care weighing between 300g and 400g, almost half of their ideal weight.

“We would be particularly concerned if a hedgehog is out during the day and would urge anyone who finds one to call us so we can come and collect it.”

Use gardening gloves or a thick towel to pick up a hedgehog and place it in a secure box.

It can then be left with fresh water and tinned cat food until they arrive.

They will be released once they achieve a suitable weight of over 600g and the weather warms up.

Call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.