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Terrington St Clement hedgehog hospital does a wonderful job

I've just experienced a week of very mixed emotions. Sadness at the death of a young hedgehog that unwittingly fell into my care but gratitude and warmth at the kindness of those who looked after her as she fought unsuccessfully to stay alive.

While out in the garden on Sunday I came across the small hog on the edge of the lawn, exposed to the midday heat and clearly not where it was supposed to be.

Not sure what to do, I looked for some advice online: the RSPCA suggested picking it up with a folded towel and placing it into a secure high-sided cardboard box, along with the towel, which I did.

I placed Jemima in a box with a towel, as instructed
I placed Jemima in a box with a towel, as instructed
Jemima was quickly placed in a safe, warm cage
Jemima was quickly placed in a safe, warm cage

I did know what to do next. Because the Lynn News had previously covered stories about them, I was aware of the wonderful work being carried out at Emma’s Hedgehog Hospital in Terrington St Clement, so I called them and arranged to drop the little creature off.

I live only 20 minutes away, so I was soon there, expecting to hand over the patient and return home. But I was delighted to be invited in to see the work they do there.

I soon found out that my hedgehog was a female, around nine weeks old, who was suffering from dehydration and possibly other things too.

Jemima was given a buffet of treats
Jemima was given a buffet of treats

Jemima - they called it after me - was weighed, flea sprayed and injected with some fluids before being placed in a warm cage with bedding, water and a buffet of treats. Flies had already started to lay eggs on the poor thing and these were also picked off.

I left the centre impressed, even more so over the next couple of days as they kept me up-to-date with Jemima’s progress.

On the first day, she put on two grams in weight, but things didn’t go well after that. She lost 27g the following day and was so poorly that she was placed in an incubator.

Sadly, on Tuesday she died. Not the ending we’d all hoped for, but I was reassured that my actions had at least given her a chance of survival and spared her a more harrowing death.

When I visited, the small outbuilding which contains the hospital was full of hedgehogs of all sizes and ages. All being treated for different ailments. All being given the best chance of survival by Emma and her dedicated team of volunteers.

The non-profit rescue charity costs a lot of money to run and the team are always out and about fundraising. If you’d like to help them as a volunteer, you can get in touch by calling 07847464904 or emailing info@emmashedgehoghospital.com To donate, visit emmashedgehoghospital.com/donate/

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