Remember, remember hedgehogs on Nov 5

HEDGEHOG-lover Alec Suttenwood is urging to people over the Guy Fawkes season to take precautions to help save hedgehogs, notorious for burrowing into unlit bonfires.

HEDGEHOG-lover Alec Suttenwood is urging to people over the Guy Fawkes season to take precautions to help save hedgehogs, notorious for burrowing into unlit bonfires.

Every year thousands of hedgehogs are burned alive after burying themselves among twigs and leaves intended as bonfires.

To solve the problem, Mr Suttenwood, of Ipswich Wildlife Care and Rescue, is urging people to leave the piling up of their bonfires until the last minute.

He said: "The hedgehogs could be in there asleep and once they are hibernating they take a lot of waking up. By the time they do wake up they are usually badly burned."

He is urging people to collect wood and leaves, but then move it and make it into one big pile just before lighting it.

Most hedgehogs start hibernating around the end of September and the beginning of October.

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Mr Suttenwood said: "Piles of wood and leaves are very appealing to hedgehogs and it's what they go for."

The problem of hedgehogs being burned alive in bonfires is still a big problem but Mr Suttenwood believes the problem has eased in recent years.

"It has eased a bit since there have been more bigger organised public bonfires but it is a major problem with people having small bonfires in their back gardens," said Mr Suttenwood, who runs the sanctuary from his Montgomery Road home, in Maidenhall, Ipswich.

Despite all the warnings, he still treated four hedgehogs with burns last year. Of the four, two had to be put down, one died from their burns and another died later.

If you come across any injured hedgehogs, email Alec at rescue@ipswichwildlife.co.uk or call him on 01473 401829.

WEB LINK

www.hedgehogs.org.uk

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