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TLC needed for springtime hedgehogs

[Friday 13 April 2007]
TLC for prickles

NEW research has shown that the common hedgehog probably evolved some 15 million years ago - aeons before the first humanoids walked the planet - but they are under threat in many parts of the UK from human activity, according to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

The society yesterday issued an appeal to gardeners to show some TLC towards Prickles, said to be the UK's favourite mammal, because spring is a particularly dangerous time of the year for them. They get killed in huge numbers whilst crossing roads in search of a mate and are at risk from garden machinery like strimmers.

They also have one very sad characteristic: if females are disturbed in their nests, often situated in overgrown corners of gardens which owners begin to clear out at this time of the year, they can turn on their own young - official name: hoglets - and kill them.

The BHPS is appealing to gardeners to put out dog good or even unsweetened mueseli to help hedgehogs through the mating and breeding but not - as legend has it - bread and milk. This can upset the animal's stomach.

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