If it’s got physical injuries, take it to the vets immediately. Most will not charge to see wildlife and injuries need urgent medical attention.
If it’s out between dusk, through the night, and dawn, leave it alone to go about its business.
However, if it’s out during the day, it’s very likely to need help. One that’s moving around with purpose might be a mother searching for food for her young, so just observe for a while, because if it’s “rescued”, the young will starve.
A hedgehog doesn’t sunbathe. If it’s during the day and not moving, or is very lethargic, it needs help.
Using a pair of thick gardening gloves or washing-up gloves so you don’t injure yourself, scoop it up. Place it in a box with some fluffy towels without loops so it doesn’t strangle itself. Get a hot water bottle, or pop bottle, fill it with hot, but not boiling, water and wrap a towel around it so it doesn’t burn the hedgehog and pop that in the box too to keep it warm – warmth is key – a hedgehog’s belly should be warm to the touch. The pads of its feet should also be warm. If it feels cold, it’s hypothermic, and must be warmed up!
Once it’s warm, give it a shallow dish of fresh water to drink. A hedgehog that’s out during the day is likely to be dehydrated, but drinking whilst hypothermic can cause its organs to shut down.
Do not feed the hedgehog, because just like humans, if a vet needs to anaesthetise it, a full stomach can cause problems.
Get in touch with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890801 to get advice and find your nearest rescue centre or give us a ring. We can’t always answer the phone, so please leave a message with contact details.