A 31-year-old British woman quickly dropped everything to rescue a hedgehog that fell into a drain over the summer.
According to the Swindon Advertiser, Kelly Protheroe was out delivering mail when she heard a strange noise nearby. After investigating where the sound was coming from, she discovered a little hedgehog was trapped in a drain and was in distress.
Not sure how to approach the situation, Protheroe sought help from the internet. “I was working and didn’t have anything on me and as an animal lover I just couldn’t leave it,” Protheroe explained. “So I posted onto the Swindon Community Notice Board and it sort of blew up.”
Within a matter of minutes, a Swindon woman, Leah Hewlett helped rescue the hedgehog. Protheroe recalled the rescue efforts. “Leah went and was able to rescue the hedgehog, but other people went as well as one of them was already on their way there and the other lived in Purton. So lots of people wanted to help.”
Hewlett shared that she lives around the corner where the hedgehog was. She decided to try to help. “I wasted no time. I knew that at all costs that hedgehog was coming back with me. So, armed with a six-way tool, net, and gloves, I jumped into action. I didn’t need the net because the drain cover came off so I could just reach in and scoop him out. He was so frightened and tired when I got home.”
Hewlett also gave an update about the hedgehog’s condition after the incident. “The support online was overwhelming and many others also played essential parts in his rescue. The most important being Kelly who first made us aware of him being trapped. I’m thankful that I was able to help.”
The hedgehog has since been released.
Hedgehogs Are Common Throughout Mainland Britain and Ireland
According to Mammal.org, the hedgehog is considered common in parks, gardens, and farmland throughout the mainland of Britain as well as Ireland. It has been introduced to various islands, including Orkney, Shetland, Isle of Man, and some of the Channel Islands.
Although the hedgehog’s lifespan is up to 10 years, reaching a decade is exceptional for the species. “Over half die within their first year,” the website states. “And average life expectancy is 2-3 years in the wild.”
In regards to preferred habitats, hedgehogs are usually seen in woodland edges, hedgerows, and suburban areas where there is plenty of food for them. “Intensively farmed arable land is probably a poor habitat, as are moor lands and dense conifer forests.”
Hedgehogs are partially protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act. They may not be trapped without a license from Natural England, the Countryside Council for Wales, or Scottish Natural Heritage.