I don’t usually share personal experiences here, but for the benefit of prickly wildlife, I’ll make an exception today.
For a day or two, my dog T’isker had shown an unusual interest in the back of an open shed…
Yesterday morning I finally investigated what excited him so and found a hedgehog entangled in a fruit net.
It must have turned and twisted to free itself, getting more and more of the netting caught in the spines. It must have twisted and turned, tightening the grip of the net around its little body and creating a coil as thick as my little finger between it and the net.
I ran into the house to get sharp scissors, severed the coil, placed the bundle into a cardboard box and took it in to carefully cut away and free the hedgehog from its trap.
Having placed it the right way around, probably for the first time in days, it started breathing heavily and after about half an hour uncurled and started to move around.
Luckily, my neighbours Olivia and Tim knew what to do and soon Prickles was in transit to a vet in Liskeard, who will give fluid and check for constriction injury and bruises. Once safe, Prickles will be passed on to Prickles and Paws in Newquay for recuperation and repatriation into the wild.
Hopefully a happy ending/new beginning for this little chap/pess, but how many hedgehogs and birds will be caught up in netting and find their untimely and slow painful death that way?
It’s an easily preventable fate: I won’t ever use netting in my garden again!
This story also reminded me of the dreadful fate of sea life caught up in plastic debris and fishing gear… But that’s another story!
p.s. veterinary centres take in wildlife at no charge!!!