The RSPCA have slammed ‘barbaric torturers’ who tied a helpless hedgehog’s legs together, slashed and cut his spines and spray-painted him blue.
The badly-injured hedgehog had to be put down because vets could not save him.
A male, the ‘hog’ was found, pitilessly wounded, barely alive and in agonising pain, in Holt, Norfolk, on Saturday.
His legs had been tied together by blue electrical tape and his spines had been hacked, sliced and trimmed down.
RSPCA Inspector Ben Kirby said the attack was the ‘most callous’ he had seen in 16 years as an officer.
He said: ‘I just cannot believe what this poor hedgehog has been put through. It seems very much like he has been the victim of a premeditated attack.
‘It’s the most callous incident I’ve had to deal with in 16 years as an officer.
‘It was absolutely heartbreaking to see the state this poor hedgehog had been left in, with his legs bound together by tape and his spines trimmed right down.
‘He’d also been sprayed with blue paint – potentially so they’d be able to see him more clearly in the nearby hedgerow after they’d tortured him.
‘He was taken to a vet in Fakenham but had to be put to sleep so as not to prolong his pain.’
The charity has managed to pinpoint the precise spot he was found, on a footpath next to Arkell Avenue.
They are begging residents to check CCTV and video doorbell footage in the hope of finding the sickos.
Inspector Kirby said ‘If anyone saw anything suspicious in this area of Holt in recent days, we urge them to contact our appeal line on 0300 123 8018, and quote reference 01115237.
‘This was a shocking discovery for the member of the public who found him to make, and we’re really grateful to them for sounding the alarm and racing this poor hedgehog to a local vet.
‘We’re now looking into exactly what happened here – and who may be responsible.
‘We know video doorbells and CCTV can override fairly quickly so we’ve launched this urgent appeal for information in the hope that the local community can support our inquiries.’
Hedgehogs, seen as the gardener’s friend because they eat slugs and other pests, are in serious decline.
They’re one of our fastest-vanishing wildlife species, having not long ago been one of the most common.
They numbered about 1.5 million in 1990, but they are now listed as vulnerable under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
There may be as few as 200,000 left in our countryside and in urban parks and gardens.
This article by Eleanor Dye was first published by The Daily Mail on 23 July 2023. Lead Image: The RSPCA have slammed ‘barbaric torturers’ who tied a helpless hedgehog’s legs together, slashed and cut his spines and spray-painted him blue.
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