Nottinghamshire rescue centre warns against handling wild animals

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Brinsley Animal RescueImage source, Brinsley Animal Rescue
Image caption,
The rescue centre has seen an influx of hedgehogs being brought in

An animal rescue centre said it has been inundated with wild animals during the lockdown and warned people against unnecessary handling.

Jon Beresford and Beth Hewis, who run the Brinsley Animal Rescue centre in Nottinghamshire, said on one day they received 100 phone calls.

They have seen an increase in hedgehogs being brought in due to more people gardening and walking outdoors.

Despite best intentions the animals are often best "left alone", they said.

"At springtime we get lots of calls anyway with hatchings and people going into their gardens. But this year is the worst we have ever known," said Mr Beresford.

"Partly because it has been a dry spring and hedgehogs are very dehydrated, and because a lot of people are at home or going for walks, picking up animals they shouldn't.

Image source, Brinsley Animal Rescue
Image caption,
Four hoglets found by one resident this week were treated for dehydration

"Sometimes it is a genuinely injured animal like birds who have fallen out of nests, but then there's fledglings on the ground and people pick them up and take the baby away from the mother, which causes a bigger problem."

The centre, which also takes in pets and farm animals, said it has had to turn animals away because they are full.

"It's a lot for a small charity run by volunteers and we can't deal with it all," added Mr Beresford.

"In one day we got 10 hedgehogs and last year we wouldn't get 10 hedgehogs in a week."

He said most of the animals were dehydrated or malnourished and then released back into the wild.

Image caption,
Mr Beresford said people often "do the wrong thing" when picking up wild animals

"It can get really infuriating that people will disturb them and then insist we take them. Some people are very understanding but others think the wild hedgehogs or fledglings don't have a right to be in their garden.

"People always have the best intentions but quite often they do the wrong thing and that can have fatal consequences."

Their advice for anyone who spots an injured or suffering wild animal is to call a rescue centre before picking it up, and not to feed or water it before speaking to an expert.

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