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Health and welfare of rehabilitated juvenile hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) before and after release into the wild
  1. A. W. Sainsbury, BVetMed, CertLAS, MRCVS1,
  2. A. A. Cunningham, BVMS,MRCVS1,
  3. P. A. Morris, PhD2,
  4. J. K. Kirkwood, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS1 and
  5. S. K. Macgregor, HNC,MISCT1
  1. 1 Veterinary Science Group, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY
  2. 2 Department of Biology, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 OEX


Thirteen wild caught juvenile hedgehogs were treated and overwintered in a rehabilitation centre and 12 were released into the wild and monitored by radiotelemetry. Clinical examinations were carried out before they were released and twice afterwards, and any hedgehogs found dead were examined post mortem. The health of the animals was generally good but dental disease, obesity and minor injuries were common. One hedgehog died before it was released and had cardiovascular and respiratory lesions, and one was euthanased 28 days after its release and had verminous enteritis and parasitic bronchitis. Three hedgehogs were killed by badgers, two were killed by road traffic and four were known to have survived when the study ended.

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