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Hedgehog nearly killed as a baby successfully released back in to the wild

image of a hedgehog being bottle fed

We have released a hedgehog which was nearly killed by a group of youths back in to the wild.

Despite a difficult start in life, Jack the hedgehog has been successfully hand-reared by the team at our National Wildlife Rescue Centre before being released in November 2021 with support feeding and housing to help him find his feet.

Jack originally came in to the care of the Society’s wildlife hospital after a member of the public found several teenagers attempting to put a litter of hoglets on a bonfire on 2 October 2021 in Wishaw.

April Dodds, assistant manager of our National Wildlife Rescue Centre said, “This was understandably a very distressing incident for both the hoglets involved and the member of the public who witnessed it.

“We are so grateful to the passer-by for intervening and managing to save three of the hedgehogs. Sadly, two others were stamped to death by the teenagers.

 “The three hedgehogs who the member of the public managed to save were taken to our specialist wildlife facility. Sadly, one of the hoglets died during the journey but Jack and the other hog named Sally made it to the centre.

“Unfortunately Sally had intestinal problems and she passed away shortly afterwards.

“However, Jack managed to recover from his ordeal and was successfully hand-reared by wildlife assistant Nicole.

“He continued to thrive in her care and after several weeks was ready to be released.

“It’s always upsetting when an animal comes in to our care due to deliberate harm caused by humans but there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing that animal recover and return to the wild where they belong against all odds.”

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of both Scottish SPCA inspectors and Police Scotland the young people involved could not be identified.

Gilly Mendes Ferreira, Scottish SPCA head of education, policy and research, said, “We know from the work our Animal Guardians programme does with young people at risk of harming, or who have harmed, an animal that children can mistreat animals for a variety of reasons.

“Often this has more to do with not knowing what they are doing is hurtful, or having trouble regulating their emotions and behaviour, rather than from an intent to cause harm.

“Many people don’t always recognise that when a young person shows behaviour towards an animal that is a cause of concern it can also act as an early indicator that something else may be wrong in that young person’s life and specialist support may be required.

“We hope that the young people involved in this incident speak to an appropriate adult who can give them the support they need and we would encourage any adult who is aware to refer them to our Animal Guardians programme if required for further support.”

If anyone finds an animal in distress they should call the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.


If anyone is concerned about an animal, please do not hesitate to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.


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