A hedgehog is for life, not for Christmas. But this festive season, animal lovers can sponsor their own Christmas hoglet, grab a gift to remember and help save a species in decline.
Wildlife rescuers in Leatherhead are struggling to look after around 200 young hedgehogs that have been saved in recent weeks and have launched a yuletide sponsorship scheme to give the public a chance to help.
Each year, the Wildlife Aid Foundation receives many hedgehogs that are too small to survive winter in the wild and this year the numbers are unprecedented. The animals, which were born late in the summer and early autumn, have not had time to gain enough weight to survive hibernation. Instead they need to be fed and cared for at the charity’s winter hedgehog nursery. The cold snap has made matters worse for the young, as food has become scarce.
The cost of feeding and caring for each animal through the winter is around £50, putting a huge strain on the coffers of WAF.
Now, in a Christmas and New Year hog-money scheme to help the hungry critters survive, the charity is offering the public a golden opportunity to help secure the future of the iconic animals by sponsoring them.
WAF’s Christmas Golden Harry Appeal aims to recruit sponsors to pledge £50 each. The first 200 people to apply to the scheme will each receive a specially-commissioned, limited edition print from award-winning wildlife photographer Lawrie Brailey, plus a certificate.
The money will pay for food, heating and vet bills. Specialist orthopaedic vets have already been helping and have performed procedures on some of the animals with broken legs. TV presenter and TOWIE favourite Fern McCann is also behind the charity’s efforts to look after the hedgehogs.
WAF founder and CEO Simon Cowell said: “We are getting new admissions in every day and our nursery is filling up. Hedgehog numbers in the wild have declined over 96 percent in the last 60 years so saving several hundred of them, and sending them back out in the wild next spring when they can mate, will have a positive impact on numbers in Surrey.
“But we can’t do that without help from the public, which is why we’ve launched the Golden Harry Appeal. It is a golden opportunity to help save this iconic species.”
To sponsor a hedgehog and get your unique gift please CLICK HERE