Hedgehogs are one of only a few British animals which truly
hibernate over the winter. Unable to sustain their bulk
with sufficient insects over the cold winter period they
must resort to the dangerous metabolic feat of prolonged
periods of unconsciousness.
Around this time and throughout the following 2-3 months
these mammals will be particularly vulnerable. Any hedgehogs
weighing less than 1and 1/2 lb are unlikely to have the
fat reserves to survive. Additionally, they are vulnerable
to attack from larger predators such as dogs and foxes.
One such victim was brought to our surgery at the beginning
of the week from the staff at Mount Grace High School.
A young piglet, born this year he was well underweight
to survive the harsh winter we have all been promised by
the forecasters. Sadly he had also been savaged by another
animal with one of his rear legs so severely traumatised
that it would require amputation.
Deciding whether to operate on wild animals can be very
difficult for very few survive major surgery. However, "H"
gave clear signals that he was not quite ready for the "nature
reserve" in the sky!