Prickly rescue for hapless hedgehog

ANIMAL rescuers were given a prickly challenge when an adult hedgehog became wedged in a hole in a garden wall.

Laurence Cawley

A FAMILY has told of their shock after finding a hedgehog wedged like a “tube of toothpaste” within their garden wall.

It is thought the hapless hog might have spent a whole night trapped in the four inch thick wall when he was spotted by the Spearman family in McIntyre Walk, Bury St Edmunds.

RSPCA officers called in to rescue the creature had to chip away at the wall around him because he completely stuck.

He was halfway through the hole with his front legs on one side of the wall and his back legs sticking out of the other when Jennifer Spearman noticed he was there.

Her mother, Linda Spearman, told how the whole family, including her husband David and son Jason, was involved in the hedgehog drama.

Most Read

She said: “My daughter had popped over before work and was coming down the alley along the side of the house and she saw this bottom sticking out of the wall. It was a small hole and a large hedgehog.

“She tried to pull it out but it wouldn't move, so we gave it some food. When it was freed it turned into a ball until it felt safe enough to be held by the RSPCA officer.

“I do hope to see the hedgehog again but he was set free out of the front of our house so I don't know whether we will or not. He's very welcome - and the hole has been filled.”

Inspector Jason Finch attended and spent an hour chipping away at the wall with a hammer and chisel to remove the hedgehog.

He said: “It's the first time I've ever rescued a hedgehog stuck in a wall - I've rescued them when they are stuck in a hole in the ground or when they've fallen down a drain pipe, but never a wall.

“I still cannot understand how a hedgehog that size got stuck in the wall. The wall was four inches thick and it had its back feet sticking out on one side and its head and its front feet out of the other. It had squeezed and stretched so much it was like a tube of toothpaste and its back end was too large to pull through. It could not go backwards because its spines face backwards, which means it can only go one way.

“It took about an hour to free it and I had to be careful when I was chipping away the brick that I did not hurt the hedgehog. When it was freed it curled up into a ball but it wasn't injured at all. It is all part and parcel of this job and it is so rewarding when we're successfully able to free an animal without injury.”