LifestyleHedgehog in your garden, friend or foe?

Hedgehog in your garden, friend or foe?

The hedgehog in the garden is a reason for joy.
The hedgehog in the garden is a reason for joy.
Images source: © Adobe Stock

9:14 PM EST, January 19, 2024

Hedgehogs are not only charming and useful creatures but also an integral part of the ecosystem. They typically dwell in forests or parks, but their presence in cities is becoming increasingly common, sometimes wandering into our gardens. How should one handle a hedgehog? Is there an immediate requirement to return them to the forest? Here's what we think.

Discovered a Hedgehog in Your Garden? Here is What to Do

A hedgehog's natural environment is the forest. There, it only leaves searching for food for itself and its young. Relying heavily on smell due to poor sight, these intriguing mammals often inadvertently wander into dangerous places like roadsides, resulting in several fatalities within their families. If you spot a hedgehog near the road, stop your vehicle and move it to a safer location.

However, it is not unusual for a hedgehog to wander into our urban gardens. Should this be cause for concern? Absolutely not. Hedgehogs are beneficial creatures that feed on garden pests such as snails, earthworms, or mice. It might even be beneficial to have them around for some time. If your garden appeals to them, they might build a nest there come autumn. Unless they pose a threat, there's no need to discourage them. However, don't attempt to take them into your home.

In the past few years, keeping hedgehogs as pets has become increasingly trendy. While they are certainly adorable, it's important to remember that they are not domestic creatures. They are wild animals that need to follow their instinct.

Own a Cat or Dog? Relocate the Hedgehog to a Safe Space

If you are a pet owner with a dog or a cat and a hedgehog finds its way into your garden, promptly move it to a safe location such as the forest. Both dogs and cats might attack, resulting in injuries to both parties. Remember that hedgehogs are protected species.

What if the hedgehog in your garden appears excessively slim, lacks spines, and fails to roll into a ball at your approach? These signs likely indicate it is in poor health and suffering. In such cases, taking the hedgehog to a veterinarian for assistance is advisable.

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