Hedgehogs have being released back into the wild by the USPCA Animal Hospital

6 Autumn Baby Hedgehogs have been nursed back to health at the USPCA’s Animal Hospital over the winter months.

Now the healthy hedgehogs have been taken to sites identified specifically as being “hog-friendly”.

The USPCA Animal Hospital team of Vets, Nurses and staff were delighted to work on this release project along with the Jackson and Gough Families from Tandragee.

After the release we spoke to Antony Jackson about his experience:

Antony Jackson stated

“In the Autumn of 2013, whilst discussing how few hedgehogs we had seen over the summer, I contacted the USPCA in Newry and making enquiries there. I had not darkened the doors of their smart premises on the ring road, and was very impressed with the setup when I did. Instead of being treated as a ‘Good Life do-gooder’, my request to help with the release of wild hedgehogs was taken very seriously.

It was explained to me that whilst the hospital was caring for a number of orphans and casualties, they were too small or weak to be released into the wild so close to winter. The USPCA would nurture them over the cold months, and if I was still interested in the Spring I should make contact again then.

In fact it was the USPCA who contacted us in the end. They rang to say that they had six hedgehogs that were ready to be released back into the wild. I jumped at the opportunity, and made an appointment to meet with the veterinary & wildlife nurse for the handover on the 5th April. She was very thorough, and asked all about where our house was located, and the type of habitat I was proposing to release the little creatures in to. Each animal was carefully placed into a very smart USPCA release box, and with a tear in the eye the Wildlife Nurse Sandra who was about to say goodbye to her six charges.

Then, joined enthusiastically by my wife and children, we set off down the field leading to the little copse that borders a stretch of the river Cusher. Being mindful to give them all a good piece of territory each, we gently released them one by one into the spring growth of moss, primrose and wild garlic. They balled up immediately as we cupped them in our gloved hands, but after a time on the ground their inquisitive nature would win out over self-defence, and little black snouts would emerge from the spiny balls, sniff the air, and slowly uncoil to reveal the twinkly-eyed Mrs. Tiddywinkle straight out of tags tad pages of Beatrix Potter.

We cheerfully wished them health and well- being in their new home, and we left them to settle in for the night. Since the release, there have been two positive sightings of our new friends, and we look forward to many more over the summer. Thank you so much to the USPCA for facilitating this happy event, and allowing to reintroduce this delightful little creature back onto our land.”