Hedgehog hospital given go ahead

A NEW hedgehog hospital is set to be built at an award-winning wildlife park which it is hoped will help more hoglets survive the winter.

The Shepreth Wildlife Conservation Charity has been granted permission to build the site in the grounds of Shepreth Wildlife Park – however a major fundraising drive is needed to expand the already thriving operation.

Rebecca Willers, of SWCC, said: “The aim of the hospital in the long run is to look at health services so we can try to understand what happens to the hedgehogs in the wild.

“We want to look at tagging as well so we can check their ages, how long they’re surviving in the wild, and if they’re breeding.

“It’s a succesful rehabilitation if we relesse a hedgehog and it goes on and breeds.

“This has happened already – but we want to go full steam ahead with it.”

About �33,000 will be needed to build the hospital, with �19,000 of running costs needed a year.

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However, the wildlife park – as well as raising funds – is appealing to tradesmen to help with the construction of the hospital.

The existing hospital has seen an increase in underweight hoglets, from 117 in 2010 to 200 this year.

Miss Willers said the warmer autumns were causing litters to be born later, with some hedgehogs then unable to survive the winter.

They must weigh 600 grams to survive the winter, but as the seasons turn, food becomes scarce, and the animals are unable to bulk up for hibernation.

Donations can be made online at http://www.sheprethwildlifepark.org