Hedgehogs get stressed out due to hibernation

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Hedgehogs prepare for the winter

From the beginning, life for hedgehogs has been characterized by stress. Most hedgehog babies are only born in August, but must have had enough fat deposits for hibernation by the end of October. Experts advise against false help for hedgehogs during the winter.

Hedgehogs are stressed from birth Hedgehogs are confronted with stress from birth. Two out of three newborns of the barbed animals are not born until August and then they must have been fed enough fat deposits for the winter by the end of October. For hibernation, which can last five to six months, you need a minimum weight of 500 to 600 grams, which you have to eat with insects, roots, fruit, seeds and nuts. Even if the first hibernation is the last for the majority of the young hedgehogs, experts advise against bringing underweight animals into human dwellings, because this does not significantly increase their survival rate for various reasons.

Hedgehogs don't give milk Stefan Bosch from the environmental organization Nabu explains: "Only if a hedgehog is noticeably malnourished or sick should it be cared for or handed over to a hedgehog station." who no longer curl up, take them to the vet; the finder of the hedgehog usually had to bear the costs himself. If garden owners find orphaned infants or animals wandering after the onset of winter, human help is appropriate. Hypothermic hedgehogs could be warmed with a terry towel, which is heated to the correct temperature with a hot water bottle. The animal should then be placed in a box. In any case, helpers should visit a hedgehog station or a veterinarian.

Don't give milk to hedgehogs Since hedgehogs are twilight and nocturnal, you can put some dry cat food and a bowl of water in the garden in the evenings. However, no milk, because their sugar leads to bad diarrhea in the animals. If shelters such as crockery huts, roots, dry stone walls, stairways, compost rents, hedges and brush piles are available, they make it easier for the animals to find a suitable winter quarters. “In addition, you can offer your own hedgehog huts or hedgehog domes made of wood-concrete,” says Bosch.

Carrying hedgehogs out of the danger zone In Germany, more than half a million hedgehogs are run over by a car every year. The animals do not seem to be able to assess the danger. Hedgehog lovers therefore advise that the animals be carried out of the danger zone if necessary. Especially on smaller roads with little traffic, this is often only a little effort. Flavia Zangerle from the Hedgehog Center Zurich says: "The best thing to do is to carry him to the side of the street he wanted to go to." There would be little point in placing the animal further away from traffic, "because hedgehogs are loyal to the location," said the expert. If they were torn out of their usual area, they would immediately start hiking again and would sooner or later cross a street again. (ad)

Image: Erika Hartmann / pixelio.de

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Video: Hedgehog checks out hibernation box

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