Eek! Hedgehog in the pond....

Whilst giving my lawn a mow, movement from the pond caught my eye and spotted a hedgehog having difficulties getting out. It had managed to get itself caught between a sunken pot and the edge of the pond and couldn't haul itself out (I'm very conscious of hog safety and thought I'd covered all safety issues by having slopping edges and a beach - first incident since installing pond over 18 months ago). Hauled the poor chap out and he's now on a towel, on a heat pad, in a cat box with a dark blanket over the box to keep out light. At first he was shaking, so immediate concern was getting him warmed up. That seems to have stopped now, but concerned with what I need to do next. Tried to ring a couple of wildlife animal rescues near me, but no answer (it's Sunday). Also, my vets are closed except for emergency. I'm sure he's going to be OK, but wondering if I should take him to rescue place tomorrow, or leave him to go free once it gets dark this evening and when his mates come into the garden. Should I wait till tomorrow evening to make sures he's eaten something? Happy to take whatever advice. I live in West Surrey - so if anybody knows any local rescue contacts, please let me know.


  • If it was me, I'd take him outside, put him down somewhere a bit secluded and see what he wants to do.

    The nights are not cold at the moment and there should be plenty of food about.

    Hedgehogs don't normally move when humans are around. It's possibly our smell they are sensitive to. So you might need to leave him well alone for 10 minutes or so, and then return to the spot. If you're lucky he will have disappeared.

    If he's still there when you return then you need a Plan B.

  • Just been to see him - fast asleep, breathing seems OK (not laboured or shallow) - bit loathe to wake him now. Will put him out this evening around 9pm which is around the time the hogs normally come into the garden anyway.

    I've sorted out the pond - noticed it was quite low down despite all the rain, so probably didn't help as more distance to haul himself out from.

    Very lucky chap - I was going to leave the grass mowing to the guinea pigs, but they are so rubbish sometimes missing the edges and long stuff - only reason I got mower out.
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    Tim Burr, for goodness sake let the poor thing go.  He/she is a wild animal and you are causing the poor hog so much stress by handling it.  It did get caught up, but they are excellent swimmers, it will recover.

    They are solitary creatures and it will have its own territory.  Let it go!!

  • I help at a hedgehog rescue, if the hoggy seems ok now you have warmed him up then please release him tonight. If you can find a quite area under a shrub to let him go that is great. Place a shallow bowl of water and some meat flavour cat/dog food out for him too as he may well be very hun gry after his ordeal.

  • FloBearFloBear Posts: 2,281

    Tim Burr, if you happen to have some meaty cat or dog food available, you could put a little bowl out with him when you let him go so you know he's got something to eat tonight.

  • HI Tim, Sounds like he will be fine to let him go, if your worried you could put a meal out for him too.image For what is worth I think you did the right thing in drying/warming  him up before he gets put back out

  • Update - whilst in the cat box, he snuggled under the towel making himself all toasty warm. About half an hour a go, transferred him to one of those filing boxes with a lid and cut the side off to make an exit. Lined the base with papers and hay. Placed him on the patio next to the hedghog food hut (where they all the hogs who visit my garden pile in regulalry eat for nightly nibbles) - we're all now sitting patiently in the conservatory waiting for him to appear. Might be one of those panda kitkat evenings! Anyway, beats Countryfile!
  • Aww well done. Im sure he will be out having supper very soon. ive already had 3 hoggies at my feed stations tonight. Im sure he will give your pond a wide berth for the next few night lol. image

  • Happy to report - has just left the filing box, and went straight to food hut - face now in a bowl of Spike, mealworm and chicken breast. Hog happy, family relaxed!
  • Great news Tim, at last you know hes had a feast before he goes off on his travels. image Do you have any hogboxes in the garden for them to possibly hibernate in? I have 2 at the moment, 1 is in regular use and the other has only been in situ for a couple of weeks so fingers crossed it will be "discovered" soon.

  • No, just the food hut. My garden is very small (modern housing develoment), so my hogs just come, feed, and go. I'd love to put in a hog box, but being such a small garden, I fear any resident hog would be disturbed too much for example mowing the lawn at weekends. Also, being such a small garden, it doesnt have the space for the untidy areas (ie fallen leaf mounds) that hogs love.
  • with a pond you can make a slip way for them to climb out or shelving so hedgehogs and frogs etc can get out.put a small dish of water out(change water freg) so they can drink from that.

  • Great news, very pleased it all worked out well.

  • Thanks for this post, an easier way out my  pond has now been addedimage

  • you can always get details of a hedgehog carer or rescue centre from or ask on that way you can always get helpo and advice at any time of day or night

  • Alan4711Alan4711 Posts: 1,569

    anybody got any info on hogboxs i,ll put some up the allotment, what are they like and how to make please


  • Morning peeps, Just found this site looking for what to do in the same situation.  I pulled a full grown one out of my garden pond this morning.  It was exhausted.  

    So, we placed it in a dry bowl, kept it away from strong light and animals.  Placed a small amount of fresh cat meat in with it, and left it alone for half an hr.

    It spent some time shaking and lying on one side.  However, after 1 1/2 hrs, it had eaten all the food and had perked up back to normal.

    As we live next to miles of open fields, we let it go free into the fields.

    Good luck hoggy    image

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge Posts: 2,397

    I'm glad you found it Alan, and it has recovered. Good thinking giving it some food to get its strength back up.image

    Perhaps a bowl of water left out for those with no pond or with steep sided ponds could help in case of future visitsimage

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,805

    So glad that you found it Alan image  Can you get some plastic covered chicken wire and make a sort of scramble net, maybe over some logs or rocks at the edge of the pond, so that if this happens again the hedgehogs  can climb out. 

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
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