New cages help to house rise in hogs

This week we took in our 51st hedgehog.

By Pat Goff, Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust
Sunday, 31 March, 2019, 13:40
Wounded Hog.

The numbers we have in during the winter and early spring is rapidly increasing each year.

This is due, we think, to the fact that people are much more aware of hedgehogs now.

It is also well known that we only have a small percentage of the hedgehog numbers we had 10 years ago.

Thanks to our three new banks of cages that allow us to house 12 hedgehogs in the space of five last year, we are able to cope with the extra influx.

We have room for two more banks of these great cages and I think one of our open days will be used to raise the funds needed for these.

If we have even more hedgehogs next winter, we will badly need the extra six cages.

If the weather remains good, we have 30 hogs outside or in the big room, which is not heated (all awake except two), that will be able to be released in mid-April. This will allow us to move out the fit ones that are indoors to prepare them for release.

I am sure it will be appreciated that with 51 hedgehogs to clean and feed each day we all have plenty to do at the Rollo Centre.

We are also again asking if you can help with donations of canned loaf dog food to keep the cost of feeding the hogs down.

We are using 20 cans of food each day now so any help you can give will be very welcome.

Each hog has a little sprinkle of dried mealworms on their dinner bowl, and we must thank Tracy for her kind donation of these.

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The picture this week shows the hedgehog that came in with horrible head wounds. Thankfully, when he curls up now the wounds can barely be seen.

Once we have stopped treating his wounds, which we are doing just a couple of times a week now (under anaesthetic), he will have to go on a diet as he is quite fat.

The swans and cygnets are also taking up plenty of time each day.

We have a swan, Harry, who will not be ready to go out this spring with the other cygnets as he has pink feather.

This is a condition that causes the feather to develop a pink colour.

These feathers are not waterproof so it would not be safe to release the bird on to the river.

He will still have company as one of our other cygnets will have to stay a little longer too as he still has a sore foot.

We are very pleased with the number of ‘Friends’ we have now. Please come and join us as it’s very easy. Either check our website or go to Facebook. You can also call in at the Rollo Centre and pick up the details there.

Our Friends will be getting an invitation to come and see the release of the swans and cygnets, which should be about mid-April.

Our next open day will be on Saturday, May 25, from 10.30am to 1.30pm, when, I dare say, we will be busy looking after orphans.