The warmer weather means that some of the animals who have been maturing with us over the winter are able to be released such as this hedgehog:
Ideally a hedgehog should be released as near to dawn or dusk as possible, as close to the area where it was found as is safe and sensible. This area should already be populated by other hedgehogs and free from badgers who are a dangerous predator to hedgehogs as they do not have a problem with their protective quills.
Overwintered animals should only be released once the overnight temperatures have been above at least 5 degrees Celsius for over a week, and is forecast to remain stable and dry in the coming days. If this is not possible they can be kept outside in a pre-release pen or shelter with adequate food and water. Unfortunately, we do not have such a shelter here so hedgehogs brought to us, especially those brought to us as juveniles miss out on an acclimatisation period, which enables their release to be as gentle as possible.
What can be expected in releasing a hedgehog:
- Initially the hedgehog will lose weight as they will be used to receiving their food from a dish, but after a few day they will regain their bodyweight.
- Even if the ground upon which they are released is unfamiliar they will quickly become accustomed to their new surroundings. Once they locate a sufficient space to live they will build a nest, and travel to and from it during the night, or move on to build another nest.
Note: Do not pick a site that is likely to become waterlogged in winter, also be aware of any pesticides used in the area that may prove fatal to hedgehogs.
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