We are urging the public to leave hedgehogs alone unless they are visibly sick or injured.
We have seen a rise in hoglets being admitted to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre after being picked up by members of the public, despite their mothers being nearby.
On 9 June alone seven hoglets were admitted to the wildlife hospital, three of which sadly died due to being separated from their mother.
Assistant manager of the Scottish SPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre, April Sorely said, “Despite repeated appeals to the general public to leave baby animals in the wild with their mothers, we are still seeing animals of all species coming in to our care when there is no reason for them to be admitted.
“We are currently seeing a large number of new-born hoglets coming in to the centre who have been lifted from gardens by the public despite the mother being present.
“This will be incredibly stressful for both the mother hog and her babies.
“It also puts a massive strain on our already overstretched team as the hoglets need hourly feeds on top of all the other animals we care for.
“It’s also incredibly upsetting for our staff to see these tiny babies coming in to our care, failing to thrive and passing away despite the team doing everything they can to try and help them survive.
“Generally speaking, if people spot a hedgehog out during the day then we would advise people to contact us but around this time of year, adult hedgehogs might just be moving from one nesting site to another. Any adult that looks in good body condition is likely to be doing this and they do not need our help.
“If a hoglet or young hedgehog is on their own or if a hedgehog looks thin or wobbly then people should contact our animal helpline.
“Hedgehog mums can get very stressed and in some cases the mother may kill or eat her offspring if she is in distress. We would ask people to be mindful of this and try to cause as little upset as possible. If you are aware of a nest in your garden, try not to continuously check it as this causes the mother a great deal of stress each time.
“We usually have a few casualties come in every year who have been injured by garden appliances such as strimmers and some whose nests have been disturbed. We would ask that people are careful when in their gardens and to check for wildlife in long grass, leaf litter and other areas before beginning any work.
“If a hedgehog nest is disturbed then try and relocate it as close to the original location as possible.
“We appreciate that people care about these animals and just want to help but they should not be taking matters in to their own hands. Their actions can literally mean the difference between life and death for these young animals.
“The team here at the centre are fantastic at what they do, but they’re no substitute for an animal’s real mother. Please help us to keep these animals in the wild where they belong.”
If you’re concerned about an animal call the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999 for advice and assistance.