CUTE spikey hedgehogs are eating the Vale Wildlife Hospital out of house and home.
Staff at the centre on Station Road, Beckford, have been inundated with more than 200 of the animals and are in desperate need of help.
Many are being found out in daylight – not the natural behaviour of a nocturnal animal – as they are trying to find food to put on the weight that they need to survive the cold winter months in hibernation.
There has also been an increase in hedgehogs suffering from internal parasites due to the mild, wet autumn which are spread through eating slugs and snails which make up part of their diet.
Martin Brooks, assistant manager at the centre, said: “We are in desperate need of newspapers for bedding and donations of dog and cat food to feed the hungry creatures and cash to help out for all the extra medication to get them through.
“If you find a hedgehog in daylight, pick up the prickly animal and phone for advice.
If the animal is out in the dark make the phone call first but small hedgehogs on their own still may need help.”
Hedgehogs need to weigh at least 650g to survive winter hibernation and it costs £5 per week to feed them. The centre had 16 hedgehogs brought in on Saturday alone. If you have found a hedgehog call 01386 882288 or visit valewildelife.org.uk for more information.
• Hedgehogs hit the news last week when one was found stuck in a crisp packet in Weston-super-Mare. It reportedly took six rescuers threeand- a-half hours to free it.