Fire engine call out to rescue hedgehog

Falmouth Packet: (This is not the actual hedgehog, it's merely a visual aid.) (This is not the actual hedgehog, it's merely a visual aid.)

A fire crew from St Austell were called out to help a hedgehog this afternoon, after it had become trapped in a drain.

The animal was released from its gulley prison by a team of firefighters, who used small tools to dig up an area of tarmac and free the frightened creature.

The incident took place at 1.20pm on Boldventure Road, a quiet cul-de-sac in the town's eastern suburbs.

Nigel Dyer, from the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said: "The hedgehog was rescued successfully and placed in the hands of an RSPCA inspector."

The original call for help was made by the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), who state in their promotional material and on their website: "We specialise in rescue, animal welfare and preventing animal cruelty."

The RSPCA often work closely with Fire and Rescue services around the country, most recently helping stricken pets and farm animals affected by this month's floods:

  • In Aberystwyth, two dogs were rescued from a caravan on a flooded holiday park.
  • A cat and some budgies were transferred to an animal shelter after 20 basement flats on the seafront at Littlehampton were evacuated because of flooding.
  • 20 cattle in Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex were marooned on a bank and had to be recovered by a six-strong RSPCA Water Rescue Team.
  • In Billingshurst, also in West Sussex, the fire brigade were called to rescue sheep after some had already drowned.

The European Hedgehog was included in the "United Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan" in 2007 under a list of species and habitats in the UK that needed conservation and greater protection.

They thrive in many countries in northern and western Europe and are protected by law in Denmark, where it is illegal to capture or hurt them.

In the Western Isles of Scotland, however, they are considered a serious pest due to their tendency to feast on the eggs of ground-nesting wading birds.

Regular culls, designed to reduce the number of hedgehogs in the islands, which are also known as the Outer Hebrides, have caused consternation amongst animal rights activists.

This lead to a programme of "transportation" by the Scottish Natural Heritage board, who removed the animals to the mainland at great cost, but without harming them.

Comments (2)

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4:50pm Sat 16 Jun 12

rwarwicker says...

What a waste of fire brigade resources, Good job their making wide scale cuts that will put human lives at risk, but they can find funds to rescue a hedghog life! Absolute Joke.
What a waste of fire brigade resources, Good job their making wide scale cuts that will put human lives at risk, but they can find funds to rescue a hedghog life! Absolute Joke. rwarwicker
  • Score: 0

1:00am Sun 17 Jun 12

Lanty Slee says...

I think it's good practice for them - you never know when the delicate skill required to remove a hedgehog from a drainpipe might be needed in a real world disaster scenario...

Plus it's been raining too much lately for any proper fires
I think it's good practice for them - you never know when the delicate skill required to remove a hedgehog from a drainpipe might be needed in a real world disaster scenario... Plus it's been raining too much lately for any proper fires Lanty Slee
  • Score: 0

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