Hedgehogs or no

2014-01-29 09.39.55

Last night I found a little hedgehog in the veg patch. Not knowing what to do, I looked it over and it seemed quite well but young. I put it in a box with bedding,water and a bit of bacon, and hit the internet. Searching ‘hedgehogs in Dunedin’ threw up two startlingly  different points of view, a horrifying conundrum for an animal lover (meaning everything alive) like me and my household.

There is the conservationist view that hedgehogs are introduced disease carriers and that they deplete already endangered species, think ground roosting birds, and that they should be treated as vermin and killed. I understand the conservation theories behind this totally and would agree wholeheartedly that endangered indigenous species should be protected had I not found this cute little fellow who is now sleeping beside the back door myself. Also, the idea that a bounty was paid in the past for hedgehog snouts makes me shudder.

The opposing point of view is that  hedgehogs mainly eat invertebrates, making it the friend of the veg patch.  Apparently the diseases they carry are mainly mange and ringworm which are treatable conditions.  There is plenty of advice about how to keep the hedgehog in the garden well and happy and how blessed  one is to  have these small critters  in the garden.

I will never be able to harm the little fellow, so the question  is to give it to someone in the department of conservation or set it free to live in my pesticide free back garden with the chickens.

My grandchildren are on their way to see the hedgehog, so I think I can guess the outcome of this one!

2 thoughts on “Hedgehogs or no

  1. I LOVE that you guys have hedgehogs and how on earth could anyone say that they were anything other than beneficial?! Now our possums I can understand you wanting to airlift back to mainland (note I didn’t say Tasmania 😉 ) Australia but hedgehogs? They are so cute and inconsequential. I would imagine that household cats would kill and displace more ground dwelling native birds than an entire army of hedgehogs could. “Get me a petition…I want to sign!” 😉

  2. We found a baby last week, in the middle of the road. Bought it home and gave it water and cat food and put him in the garden…hopefully he will find all the other hedgehogs. We love having them around and hopefully they keep the garden pest population down.

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