Two hedgehogs founds themselves in a prickly situation after falling down uncovered drains in County Durham, before being rescued by the RSPCA.
RSPCA officers were called to the property in Newton Aycliffe on May 21 and days later, were called out again to another address around 17 miles away in Gilesgate in the same area in an identical incident.
In both cases, an adult female hedgehog had fallen and become wedged face-down in an uncovered drain.
The charity is hopeful that the incidents will remind people to check that drains in their gardens and streets are blocked off or properly secured with covers.
According to the charity the first hedgehog, rescued by RSPCA inspector Krissy Raine, was lodged around two feet down in the drain, before being rescued safely and released in a nearby location.
The second was dehydrated and covered in ticks. It spent two days being cared for by staff at Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital in Darlington before it was returned to the wild, near to where it was found.
RSPCA Inspector Cathy Maddison, who rescued the second unfortunate animal, described it as ‘absolutely enormous’.
‘She was one of the biggest hedgehogs I have seen for a while and unfortunately her size meant she was stuck fast in the hole with next to no room for manoeuvre’, she said.
‘She received excellent care at Stanhope Vets and I’d like to thank the team there for everything they did to get her back on the road to recovery.
‘The homeowners at both incidents Krissy and I attended were very concerned about what had happened and with hedgehog numbers in decline, it was nice for us to be able to release both of them back into the wild unharmed.
‘If you have an uncovered drain or an exposed pipe near your home please report it to the water or drainage company concerned, or if it’s on your land add a suitable cover so it’s not a hazard to wildlife.
‘It’s not just hedgehogs; drains, pits and other open holes can also frequently trap unsuspecting creatures like amphibians and ducklings, so there are a number of animals which are at risk of injury or even worse.’
People should also check for wildlife before they use strimmers or mowers in their gardens, and to remove netting or look through compost heaps before they are forked over.
This article by Gemma Parry was first published by The Daily Mail on 10 June 2023. Lead Image: According to the charity the first hedgehog, rescued by RSPCA inspector Krissy Raine, was lodged around two feet down in the drain.
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