A couple of amorous hedgehogs in a Warwickshire village have had to be rescued by firefighters.
A woman contacted the animal welfare charity after her dog alerted her to the stricken hedgehogs in the grid. When she couldn’t reach the hedgehogs herself she called the RSPCA in the early hours of 9 May.
RSPCA inspector Nicky Foster headed out to Harbury, in Warwickshire, to help the stricken hogs.
She said: “The lady who lived in the house was out walking her dog late. He was sniffing around the grid and alerted her to this frisky pair!
“She said this had happened before and she is normally able to reach in and pull them free herself.
“But, on this occasion, she wasn’t able to reach the hedgehogs and was concerned they wouldn’t be able to climb out themselves so she called us.
“The gaps between the metal grid bars were too small for me to pull the hedgehogs free so I contacted Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service who were able to use their specialist equipment to bend the bars so I could pluck the hogs to safety.
“We gave them both some food and water and checked them over. Luckily, they hadn’t been injured and thanks to the lady’s quick-thinking weren’t stuck for too long so we were able to release them into the bushes there and then.
“I’d also like to thank the fire service for coming out and helping so quickly - it meant the hedgehogs were caused as little stress as possible and are now back in the wild, rooting around for grubs where they should be.”
Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service area commander Dave Pemberton said: “We’ve got lots of experience rescuing animals, but I think that it's a first to be asked to rescue a hedgehog.
“We are always happy to assist the RSPCA when we can and were glad that we were able to use our specialist cutting equipment to bring them to safety.
“We are hopeful that the hedgehogs will have learnt from their ordeal and that they won't hog the limelight again any time soon!”
The RSPCA receives almost 1.1m calls a year from members of the public concerned about the welfare of pets and wild animals.
The charity’s officers are often called to help stricken wildlife who have found themselves stuck in gates, tangled in fencing or fallen down holes.
The charity urges members of the public not to put themselves at risk to rescue wildlife themselves, but to contact its 24-hour cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.
Inspector Foster added: “If you can safely retrieve and confine an injured wild animal then there is advice on our website about what to do next - as a charity with only a limited number of officers sometimes it can be quicker to take the animal to a nearby vet or wildlife centre.
However, if the animal is trapped or you can’t rescue it yourself safely then please contact us so we can help.”