Found a hedgehog

Help a sick or injured hedgehog

Hedgehog eating food © Gillian Day

Should I try to help a sick or injured hedgehog?

Hedgehogs usually hibernate between November through to mid March, but they can sometimes be seen out and about during this period changing nesting sites.  It is unusual to see a hedgehog staggering around during winter or in daylight, so if you do see one and it looks unwell, it might need a helping hand.

Handling and care of a sick or injured hedgehog

Hedgehogs are wild animals, so being handled is a stressful experience. If you are unsure, contact a specialist group before trying to help. If you decide to intervene, here's what to do:

Curled up Hedgehog in the hands of a person wearing gloves in autumn -copyright Tom Marshall

© Tom Marshall

  1. Prepare a cardboard box with high sides by lining it with a towel or scrunched up newspaper (so that the hedgehog can hide).
  2. Find yourself a pair of gardening gloves before gently scooping up the hedgehog into the box.
  3. Keep the box in a quiet, warm place: a hot water bottle filled with hot tap water wrapped in a towel can provide a gentle heat source – make sure it doesn’t go cold!
  4. You can provide some fresh water and meaty cat or dog food, but don't try to feed the hedgehog directly.
image of a hedgehog in box -copyright gillian day

Hedgehog in care © Gillian Day

What to do next

If you haven't already, contact The British Hedgehog Preservation Society, who can offer in depth advice and help you find a local rescue centre. Cumbria Wildlife Trust does not offer a general service for care and rehabilitation of sick or injured animals.  For more information on hedgehogs in general,  head over to our hedgehog species information page.