Last November, I found a tiny hedgehog wandering around the garden. At less than 300g, she would never have survived the winter. We took her in and she has overwintered in a special box in the pantry with her own personal heaters.
While the nights are still a bit chilly here, I have seen other hedgehogs out and about. Hoggy has also been very active of late, completely re-arranging her winter quarters every night. We decided it was time to release Hoggy back into the wild. The heaters have been off for the last week or so so she should be a little acclimatised to outdoor temperatures.
We had a hedgehog house set up under a bush and we stuffed it full of fresh hay. We also added some hay from her indoor bed so that she would recognise her smell. Next to it we placed a cat and dog-proof feeding station that I built years ago so we can continue to provide food.
In the early afternoon we took her out. Nicole did the honours, carrying her to her new home. We say “new home”, but there’s every chance Hoggy will leave and not come back. Like many wild creatures, hedgehogs don’t really have homes like us humans. That said, there are a couple of hedgehogs that nest under the pallets that support our hay, so maybe round here they like to have a nest.
Nicole introduced Hoggy to the tunnel into the hedgehog house. Hoggy needed no second invitation and was straight in. We watched her disappear into the bed area and said our goodbyes. We will be resisting the temptation to look in as hedgehogs don’t really like to be disturbed when they are sleeping.
We have set up the wildlfe camera to see what she does and will do our best to keep an eye on her, should she decide to stay.