Shock as baby hedgehogs kicked to death in 'heartless' attack
PUBLISHED: 19:00 24 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:55 25 October 2019
A wildlife group in Ipswich has spoken of its shock after it had to deal with two separate incidents of baby hedgehogs being kicked to death.
Both happened in the Nacton Road area of the town, with one having to be put to sleep while the other lasted a few days before succumbing to brain damage.
Astrid Martin of the Ravenswood Wildlife Group, said in the most recent case, on October 16, a resident had to step in and "put herself at risk to stop an attack" - which is believed to have been carried out by three teenagers.
Miss Martin, the group's chairman, insisted the best reaction was for the community not to get angry, but to come together.
She said: "The most important thing is education. If we can teach children about the creatures they might not recognise and how to look after them, we can stop this kind of thing happening again."
The group have notified schools in the area about the incident and are hoping to arrange assemblies where they explain how to look after wildlife.
Miss Martin said: "We have such a friendly community here in Ravenswood and we are really grateful for everything they do, people putting out hedgehog food and making hedgehog highways in their fences."
The injured animals were treated by the group's critical care unit.
One had to be put to sleep because his injuries were so horrific and the second, a 4-to-6 week-old hoglet who affectionately became known as Tiny Tim, died a few days later from brain damage.
Miss Martin said: "Tiny Tim had a huge impact on us. He was so small when he came to us, just 150g, and I was up every hour of the night he was bought to us making sure he was okay.
"In the morning I took him straight to the critical care team at the vets like we do with all our hedgehogs.
"Then for the next four days one of our rehabilitators, Jo Southall, cared for him and made sure he got his medication. She was fantastic."
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: "It is very distressing to think anyone could treat defenceless animals in such a cruel and heartless way. We urge anyone with information to call the police or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999."