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Hedgehog stuck down a hole is rescued by the RSPCA

30 Sep Hedgehog stuck down a hole is rescued by the RSPCA

A hedgehog has been rescued by the RSPCA after getting trapped down a water meter pit outside a house in Braintree, Essex.

When a passerby spotted a large hedgehog jammed against the piping at the bottom of the hole in Rosemary Avenue on 2 September, they called the RSPCA for help.

RSPCA animal rescue officer Sian Ridley said: “This poor hedgehog was well and truly jammed in. He had fallen a foot or so down the pit, which had very smooth sides, leaving him unable to get a grip and haul himself back out again.

“After putting on tough gauntlet gloves, I slid my hand down the side of the pipe. He was a big, healthy hedgehog but I was able to gently ease him up and out of the hole and into a temporary box.

“Happily, he looked bright, healthy and unharmed by his ordeal. To avoid stressing him further, he needed to return to the wild as soon as possible, so I put him under a nearby hedge. I also laid a temporary cover over the hole so that he didn’t fall in again and reported the broken cap to the local water company.”

The charity is now urging the public to help them sound the alarm about dangerous uncapped holes in their local community – as they can be lethal for hedgehogs and other wildlife.

Sian added: “Uncapped drains and other exposed holes in the ground are a big problem for hedgehogs. My colleagues and I are frequently called out to rescue these little animals as they can fall into them while they’re on the hunt for food. The public are our eyes and ears, so we’d like to ask for their help in spotting – and if necessary, reporting to the relevant authority – any uncapped holes which a hedgehog could potentially fall down.

“This incident could have ended very differently, so we are very pleased there was a happy ending. I’d like to thank the eagle-eyed passerby who reported the hedgehog’s plight to us.”