Thursday night a little life was saved by a beadorder.
My beadstudio is in the basement, and as I opened the backdoor to roll out the gashose an get it connected, there he was - a tiny little, apparently dead, hedgehog. The poor baby had tumbled down the stairs and being just about 12-15cm long he had no chance of getting back up. I was very sad to see him there. I like hedgehogs, they are so cute, and of course even cuter in the tiny little size he was.
Since I took him for dead, I simply told BF that we needed a permanent board to be placed down the stairs to avoid this kind of entrapment, and went about my beadmaking business, thinking I would dispose of him later. Some hours later I had run out of thin mandrels and went to have a better look at the little guy, who hadn't moved even a tiny bit. He was still laying curled up on one side, and I could see his eyes and ears were full of flyeggs.
I had brought a flashlight since it was dark, and after a bit, suddenly the light made him react. First he took a deep breath. 'Whoa!' I thought. 'Is he alive?!'. He moved a tiny paw, then turned his face towards the light, wriggeling his little nose. Omg-omg-omg! I ran upstairs.
'What should I do? What can I do?' I asked BF, who only thought for a minute before saying 'There's a website ... I saw a bit of TV about a hedgehogwoman ...'. So we googled, and guess what? She lives 20 min. south of us. Yay! The website said I could call any time, day and night, so I did, even if normaly I would never call people this late. 'Bring him over' she said 'quickly!' She even offered to pay a cab for me if I needed it. So I picked up the little guy (I hadn't touched him, being afraid to chok him in his fragile state), put him in a small box with a little towel around him, and off I drove in the middle of the night.
When I arrived she had prepared boiled honeywater for him, and soaked some catfood in case he could eat it, but first she proceeded to check him out and rid him of the flyeggs. I have to say I was shocked. Yes, I could see the eggs around his ears, but when she scraped out his little mouth I couldn't believe the amount. I don't know how he could breathe through all those. And even worse (or not, I'm not sure), she squished out a LOT of eggs from, get this - his eye! It was disgusting. I still feel queazy thinking about it. Poor, poor little baby. I have a whole new dislike for flies I can assure you.
She bathed him, warmed him up a bit, oiled his little nose and generally checked him out (he only weighs 130g!). He seemed a lot better after that, beginning to move a little, look around and even drink a little. I stayed for about an hour, watching and lending a hand when I could, and happy to se him liven up. She gave me lots of the groups newsletters, stickers and info, and told me I had to go and find his siblings, cause they will not survive the winter. Apparently a hedgehog looses 300g during hibernating, so this little fellow would disapear twice over. We haven't found any though ...
She really is very dedicated to these animals. She had at least 50 boxes with one or more hedgehogs spending the winter in her care, spread throughout her house, and more in the outside shed. This is the website of the Danish Hedgehog group: http://www.pindsvin.dk/ Hint: They take donations :)
Thank you to Grethe, who made the order,
to BF who had heard of the hedgehog group,
and to Kirsten for taking good care of the many, many little critters.
PS: Yes I should have taken a picture, but I were too perplexed and in a hurry to get going, so I didn't think of it untill later. Go here for Hedgehog Cuteness