Hedgehog

I saw the hedgehog, and was instantly delighted and affected with concern. Is it alright on our tarmac yard? I thought they were nocturnal- they are, primarily- is it confused? Should it be considering hibernating, and can I feed it? And, I want to get my camera.

Cheese is the best thing I have for it, according to this site. I could boil an egg, but that would take too long. I don’t want just to photograph it, as if it were mine to do with as I please. As I can give some recompense, that pleases me. I set to forced flash off, as I do not want to hurt its eyes, but there is a little weak sunshine.

This fellow-feeling, and wish to do it good, seems common. People like hedgehogs. You can even buy specialist hedgehog food. It went off to hide under the rain-cover of my neighbour’s motorbike.

Next day, it was still there. It was still squeaking, but not as loudly. I was worried for it. By the evening, it was lying on its side and I feared it was dead, but it twitched. On tarmac under a motorbike is clearly not a good place for a hedgehog.

O God, I hate being human sometimes. The thought of it dying there distressed me a great deal. What can I do for it? I boiled an egg and mashed it up, and put out some water. I phoned the local animal shelter. Yes, they take hedgehogs. I have just carried it there in an old washing up bowl. It curled up when I picked it up, but lay fairly unresponsively in the bowl, opening up and looking about a little but making no attempt to escape, which worried me. If it were alright, it would object to being carried. It is not tame, or bred to relate to humans, and would not know I meant it well. Having handed it over, I am concerned for it, but feel I have done something worthwhile.

I loved carrying it. I loved the beauty of its spines, and each time I caught sight of its snout my heart melted anew.

4 thoughts on “Hedgehog

  1. I’ve got mixed feelings about hedgehogs. On the one hand they are cute and keep garden pests to a minimum. On the other hand they they predate on native invertebrates, skinks, and ground nesting birds. Hedgehogs are thought to have contributed to the extinction of around 15 NZ bird species, and have put many other bird, reptile and invertebrate species on the endangered list.

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    • Here, they are a native species. Cuteness is little compensation in an invasive species.

      My own feelings interest me here. Someone on facebook suggested that photo showed an infection. It might rest up, then recover from an infection, so giving it egg and water would be enough. Or it might die, and that be part of the ordinary natural processes. I could not bear that. The rescue centre is willing to take it in. We care so much.

      Liked by 1 person

        • My meandering thoughts on reading your comment led me to read about cane toads in Australia. It’s not just about killing, but eradicating, for example by introducing a genetic mutation that only leads to male spawn. If you catch them, they breed to replace, and the population remains what their food sources can support. It is difficult. A disease to kill them off might infect local species.

          Liked by 1 person

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