Why a hog out during the day is definitely not okay
THIS is a message the team from Woodlands Animal Sanctuary have been repeating for years and it is still as important and needed now as it was then.
Hedgehogs, while native to this country, are nocturnal mammals and as such this means that their normal healthy behaviour should see them out and about and active at night, but sleeping during the day.
The Lancashire charity has received numerous calls recently from concerned members of the public who have been monitoring an apparently healthy hog in their gardens, as they didn’t want to take it away from its home unless absolutely necessary.
This cautious approach would usually be welcomed with wildlife, as often our well-meaning intervention can actually have the opposite effect on the animal concerned. However, a hog out in the day does require immediate intervention to give it the best chance of survival.
Often these hogs require medical assistance as well as TLC to return to full health which will enable it to be released back into the wild, this means that these hogs require more specialist care than members of the public can offer.
This doesn’t mean however, that the first aid that they can give isn’t also life saving for hogs.
Just by safely (using thick gloves or a towel) picking the hog up, placing it in a box and providing a source of heat (even in hot weather), such as an old plastic drinks bottle filled with hot water, wrapped in a towel and placed in the box with the hog on it, (but with space to move off it if they wish), is the single most important thing to remember if you see a hog out in the day and want to help it as best you can.
This action should be taken before ringing any rescue you are hoping to take the hog to.
Taking this action if you see a hog out during the day looking wobbly, lying down, being lethargic, with a lot of flies on it or around it, with an obvious injury, it being trapped, behaving oddly or hoglets without an adult all require urgent assistance.
The swifter the action the higher the chances of survival are and a successful return to the wild.
If you see a hog out in the day that appears busy and purposeful in its actions then you can leave it alone as it is likely to be a mum on errands for her babies, or an adult that has been disturbed and is looking for somewhere else safe to sleep.
And these hogs should disappear fairly quickly back to somewhere quiet and out of sight.
In these cases, they do not need our assistance and any interference from us is likely to have detrimental effects for them.
But, these are the exception to the rule and Woodlands, along with all the other societies who look to protect hedgehogs is desperate to get this message out to as many caring members of the public as possible so as many hedgehogs as possible can be rescued, saved, rehabilitated and released in an effort to preserve this fabulous species for many generations to come.
So, if you see a hog out during the day, remember – a hog out in the day is not okay.
If you are in the Southport, Ormskirk, Preston and surrounding areas and you see a hog out during the day, please carefully pick it up, place it in a high sided box, with a heat source as described above and then phone (please do not message or email because time really is of the essence) Woodlands Animal Sanctuary on 01704 823 293.
Woodlands also has an out of hours number and are able to take hogs in after 5pm, but again this is by appointment only and they must be phoned once the previous steps have been followed.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures so if you see one out in daylight it could be a cause for concern