While out in their garden one lovely day, a family noticed something small and blue scurry past. Concerned and more than a little baffled, they reached out to their local RSPCA who rushed to the scene.
The rescuers discovered the tiny blue ball was a hedgehog completely covered in blue paint. Clara Scully, an animal collection officer with the RSPCA, secured the hedgehog and took it to the West Hatch Wildlife center for treatment. The animal needed to be cleaned up and examined as quickly as possible.
“Thankfully she was still alive and is now getting the help she needs,” Scully said in a press release. “We’re unsure what happened to her — whether she was painted intentionally, or if she fell into the paint somehow.”
Because of her blue coloring, shelter staff gave her the name, Sonic after the video game character. Removing the paint has been an ongoing process, but Sonic has been a great patient.
“Sonic has been eating well and is getting stronger,” Dr. Bel Deering, center manager at the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Center, said in a press release. “She had to be anesthetized to have the substance removed, and there is still a blue tinge on the spines. The substance was very rubbery and hard to remove. It was quite caustic, and so where it touched the skin there are some sore patches that will need to be monitored.”
Once she is completely healed, Sonic will be released into the wild. It’s unknown when this will happen though.
Hedgehogs are small active creatures. It’s easy for them to get into trouble if folks leave gardening tools or paint out. The RSPCA is urging people to make sure they properly store their gardening supplies to prevent other wild animals from being injured or getting into their supplies.
“We urge the public to become more hedgehog-aware,” Llewelyn Lowen, scientific information officer at the RSPCA, said in a press release. “Simple things like checking before you start strimming [using a weed trimmer] or using your garden fork, remembering to put sports netting away when it’s not in use and keeping drains covered can really make a difference and help protect the welfare of these iconic creatures.”
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