In the making of our #AmazingGrace video, we used one of our rescue hedgehogs; Grace.
Although hedgehogs are mainly nocturnal animals, the film was shot during the day so that you could see the full beauty of the hedgehog. It was a considered decision. Hedgehogs can be seen during the day (*Please read info at the end*), contrary to popular belief.
The filming was completed over four days, at two locations. We filmed on site at the rescue and at a release site. Grace was left to wander and we followed her without interference for three brief periods. She was monitored throughout and was happily eating earthworms and insects during the filming.
Our over-wintering hedgehogs are kept indoors. They are cleaned and fed in the morning, whilst in the rescue, and get used to feeding through the day. Their food and water is topped up at night in strictly controlled quantities - they have a tendency to over eat. When they are moved to our outside pre-release runs, we continue this routine for a few days after which we change to night time feeding. Our hedgehogs immediately adapt to being the nocturnal souls that nature evolved them into.
They remain in the pre-release runs or gardens for several weeks to ensure they are feeding and that they react to light and to humans by fleeing, freezing or curling.
Grace has now been released into one of our pre-release spaces and has instantly become nocturnal and is feeding and eating extremely well.
Behaviours such as these are innate in all our wildlife, their wild instincts will always outweigh the time they have spent inside the rescue.
The music is performed and played by Dr. Brian May and Kerry Ellis.
*HEDGEHOGS OUT IN THE DAY
There is no need to ‘rescue’ every hog that is out during daylight hours. There are lots of reasons that they are out and about. If it looks like it’s on a mission and has purpose, it is probably fine; it could be building a nest, looking for food or fleeing an unsafe place where it has been disturbed - the reasons are endless.
Mums leave their youngsters at around 5-6 weeks.
In the hospital, we allow any nursing Mum’s to get away from their babies. We have noticed that Mum hangs around and is never very far in the first instance and can return once a day to the nest to feed them. You can assist the weaning process by putting food and water in a feeding station for the youngsters and you can also observe them.
Taking a lactating female away from its young will do more harm than good. They often leave the nest searching for food and water, so please just observe and don’t snatch them away.
If the hedgehog is visibly injured, bleeding, sluggish, listing, limping or not generally in good condition, it does need to come in immediately. So pick it up with a towel, pop it in a box and get it to your nearest rescue.