A convoy of carriers arrives in reception holding four young hedgehogs each with a broken left hind leg. Surrey charity, Wildlife Aid, hope Noel will be able to fix the little hoglets so they can be eventually be released back into the wild.
Many of the animals Noel sees are cats and dogs, but from time to time the team see and treat a variety of different animals including birds, sheep, chinchillas and more. One Friday night the team were amazed to see four carriers, each with a hedgehog inside, each with a broken back left leg!
The Hedgehogs were brought in by the Wildlife Aid Foundation who Noel has helped on a number of occasions in the past to help restore the health of wild animals and get them back where they belong.
The team jumped into action and prepared the little Hedgehogs for their fracture repair operations. The little hedgehogs presented a challenge to Noel to fix, not because of the nature of the problem but because they were so tiny and they have very fragile bones, especially when they are babies.
Noel uses a small line of wire to hold the fractured bones in correct alignment. The pin is significantly stronger than the bone, so when he’s bending the pins Noel had to be extremely delicate so as not to fracture the bone further.
A lot of Hedgehogs have their legs removed when they are found to have broken them, but the problem with this is that they then can’t scratch their ears and they get ear mites and this can cause death in the wild because it’s so debilitating for them. About 96% of the hedgehog population in the United Kingdom has been lost since the 1950s so it’s important to make every effort to help these little creatures.
It takes two hours for Noel to fix the four hedgehogs. Once done, Wildlife Aid Foundation Vet Emma takes them back to the wildlife hospital to continue their recovery.
Three of the hedgehogs did well during the recovery period but, unfortunately, the smallest one developed an infection and sadly did not make it, which was disappointing for everyone involved who tried their best.
Fortunately, four weeks on and the three remaining and thriving Hedgehogs returned to Fitzpatrick Referrals for their check up with Noel. The x-ray imaging on all three of them looked great so the plan was to keep them safe over winter and allow them to mature and fatten up before releasing them into the wild in the spring.
Once the weather had warmed up, Simon and Emma from the Wildlife Aid Foundation take the three hedgehogs to a private garden at night to be released, a perfect private new home for the three little soldiers.
Noel and the team were honoured to help protect these beautiful animals and give them the chance to a full, happy and healthy life.