RSPCA reveals 2,500 wildlife calls in Cambridgeshire last year as it braces for surge in calls due to breading season

The RSPCA has revealed it dealt with 2,356 wildlife incidents in Cambridgeshire last year, with 242 involving hedgehogs. It said it is bracing for a surge in calls to rescue sick, injured and orphaned wild animals and birds as the breeding season starts.
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More than 2,700 hedgehogs were admitted to RSPCA national wildlife centres last year with almost 12,000 coming through their doors in the past five years.

Traditionally, April starts to see more hedgehogs coming into the charity as they leave hibernation in search of food, and its rescue teams also see a surge in other wildlife in spring such as birds as the breeding season gets underway.

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Despite the lockdown, RSPCA rescue teams are continuing on the frontline as designated key workers and the charity has launched an emergency appeal to help it continue to rescue, rehabilitate and release the animals most in need through the crisis.

A hedgehog rescued by the RSPCAA hedgehog rescued by the RSPCA
A hedgehog rescued by the RSPCA

RSPCA scientific officer Evie Button said: “Regardless of coronavirus, wild animals still need rescuing by the RSPCA and breeding season is the start of a really busy time for us.

“We’ll have lots of calls about baby birds, orphaned fox cubs and hedgehogs which have come out of hibernation and need help to build up their body weight.”

The most common reasons hedgehogs come into the RSPCA are because they are orphaned, underweight, injured or exhibiting abnormal behaviour indicative of ill health.

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Top 10 wildlife species admitted to the four RSPCA wildlife centres in 2019

Hedgehog - 2770

Wood pigeon - 1926

Herring gull - 1779

Mallard duck - 1298

Feral pigeon - 885

Blackbird - 706

Mute swan - 692

Collared dove - 414

House sparrow - 410

Goldfinch - 343.

Last year, the RSPCA responded to 4,818 hedgehog related incidents - an average of 13 a day.

Donations to the RSPCA can be made at: www.rspca.org.uk/covid.