Prague is looking for volunteers to release baby hedgehogs into their gardens

Due to the destruction of the animals’ natural habitat, Prague wants to help baby hedgehogs to transition into adult life. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 19.08.2022 11:40:00 (updated on 22.08.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Hedgehogs are one of the most familiar, and probably beloved, wild animals – meeting one in a garden is always a treat.

Seldom seen during the day, their nocturnal wanderings take them through several gardens in the evening. Not everyone knows that a hedgehog is indeed a gardener's friend as they feed on a variety of invertebrates such as snails and slugs, beetles, caterpillars, and worms.

The city of Prague announced good news for animal lovers: you no longer have to lure hedgehogs with apples to encourage them to come into your home. Prague is looking for people who will let them release hedgehogs in their gardens.

"Soon we will be releasing adult eastern hedgehogs, which came to us some time ago as small, orphaned babies," says the city's press release. "Now we would like to release them somewhere where they will be as safe as possible, where they will be welcome and where, ideally, they will get a treat every now and then." 

The city explained that the reason behind the search for hedgehogs' host families is the changing landscape. It has been altered so much by humans in recent years that it is no longer habitable for the animals. 

"A hedgehog needs a diverse environment with enough shelter and insect food to live. Unfortunately, such places are few, and therefore hedgehogs themselves often move to gardens near human dwellings. Especially in those gardens that at least partially retain their natural character, they often find that much-needed variety," the press release states.

But not every garden is suitable for hedgehogs, and there are several parameters that your garden should meet to welcome baby hedgehogs. 

The garden must be located in Prague. It should also be "natural" – without chemical fertilizers and space for hedgehogs to hide and explore (as opposed to an English lawn). The garden should also be a safe space for the animal: no uncovered ponds or dogs with hunting tendencies. 

Other criteria include location among other gardens or natural biotopes nearby, a gap under a fence or a gate so that the animal can leave and return. Finally, the garden should not be located close to a busy highway.

If you have such a garden and would like to host one or more hedgehogs, you can write to and indicate the exact location of the garden so that the conditions of the surroundings could be checked.

Preference would be given to those who can promise that they will at least initially feed the hedgehogs (quality granules for cats or small breeds of dogs are ideal) and that they will provide them with permanent access to water if there is no natural source of it in the garden.

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