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‘There’s not a day I don’t get an enquiry’ - Hedgehog Haven inundated with calls

PUBLISHED: 12:38 09 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:33 09 August 2020

Hedgehog Haven in North Walsham has been inundated with calls to rescue hedgehogs during the pandemic. Picture: Marian Grimes

Hedgehog Haven in North Walsham has been inundated with calls to rescue hedgehogs during the pandemic. Picture: Marian Grimes

Marian Grimes

A hedgehog rescue centre has said it has been inundated with calls from the public during the pandemic.

Marian Grimes at Hedgehog Haven as been inundated with calls from the public asking her to rescue hedgehogs. Picture: Submitted by Marian GrimesMarian Grimes at Hedgehog Haven as been inundated with calls from the public asking her to rescue hedgehogs. Picture: Submitted by Marian Grimes

During a normal summer, Marian Grimes, who runs Hedgehog Haven in North Walsham, would rescue two or three animals a week, but since coronavirus hit she is receiving calls from the public everyday.

And on a particularly Monday she saw six hedgehogs rescued in one day.

Mrs Grimes believes the boom in calls is down to more people taking up gardening during lockdown and seeing the creatures in their garden, however she hopes that it is also partly due to people becoming more “hedgehog aware”.

She said: “It has been extra busy this summer, there’s not a day where I don’t get an enquiry. On Saturday I’d already had one come in by 7.30am.

Hedgehog Haven in North Walsham has been inundated with calls to rescue hedgehogs during the pandemic. Picture: Marian GrimesHedgehog Haven in North Walsham has been inundated with calls to rescue hedgehogs during the pandemic. Picture: Marian Grimes

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“I think more people are at home, so they’ve been doing more gardening and disturbing nests or using machinery and the animals get cut. Also I think the dry weather is making such a difference because they’re coming out dehydrated and desperate for water.

“I also hope it’s because people are becoming more what I call hedgehog aware. I always say ‘out during the day, not okay’ - if people see a hedgehog during the day they should realise that they are nocturnal and they shouldn’t be out during the day. The only exception to the rule is a mother who has young could come out during the day looking for food.”

Mrs Grimes is urging people not to try and keep hedgehogs as pets after she was unable to save two hedgehogs that were brought to her after being kept in a run by one family.

Hedgehog Haven in North Walsham has been inundated with calls to rescue hedgehogs during the pandemic. Picture: Marian GrimesHedgehog Haven in North Walsham has been inundated with calls to rescue hedgehogs during the pandemic. Picture: Marian Grimes

She added: “It’s not the children’s fault, it’s the parents I need to educate, to say you can’t look after them, you can’t have them as pets because at the end of the day they’re wild animals and they are on the endangered list. If we’re not careful they’re going to be extinct.”

When a hedgehog is first found it should be wrapped in a towel and placed inside a cardboard box, before calling a helpline.

Mrs Grimes says anyone who finds an animal in distress should call the Hodmedods Helpline for Hedgehogs on 07835498970.


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