The not-for-profit Animal Rescue Center is looking to raise awareness and inform local residents about how to help protect Cornwall hedgehogs.
Porthleven Harbor Hedgie Rescue, created by Tracey Sargent, is a small, self-funded hedgehog rescue operation with the goal of saving, rehabilitating and releasing hedgehogs back into the wild.
After moving to Porthleven three years ago, Tracy, who completed her first aid training and hedgehog care and rehabilitation at Valley Wildlife Hospital, noticed a lot of activity in her garden, and tasked her other half with building a hedgehog house and feeding station.
She also set up a wildlife camera and some certified hedgehog food and waited to see if her offers would be accepted.
Speaking to The Packet, Tracy said, “We’ve been waiting for the procedure, and yeah, boy, they came.
“We had a lot of hedgehogs coming into our garden.
“We went in so much that we have about eight hedgehog houses in our garden now where wild hedgehogs can come in, and we started getting camera shots and noticed some were wiggling, and there was a house laying in the sun during the day.
“A hedgehog lying in the sun during the day is a very bad sign, so I took him to the vets immediately.
“Then I thought to myself, since they are so vulnerable on the Red List, I wanted to do more here and see what else I could do to help them.
My other half, bless his heart, said ‘Do you want to turn the shed into a little rescue’, and I said yes.
“So we outfitted it with all the electricity and insulation fitted.”
Port Porthlevin is a not-for-profit rescue operation, and as such Tracy receives no funding other than the donations it receives from supporters.
Tracy continued, “I do it fully on my time and work part-time to be able to fund this rescue, but I also receive donations from people and am really grateful to everyone who supports me.
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“We get newspapers, cat food, donations from my Amazon wishlist, money through my PayPal link that helps pay vet bills and medication, and support from locals, as well as across the country, is absolutely amazing.
“I really want to get this message across, I simply can’t do it without everyone’s generosity.
Since November 2020, Tracy has rescued nearly 100 hedgehogs and wants to raise awareness about how to help people take care of them.
When it comes to looking for hedgehogs in your garden, Tracy had some advice on ways people can help.
These are them: “Let them in by making a highway for the hedgehog, all they need is a gap of five square inches.
“Keep an area of your garden overgrown so they can forage and forage.
Leave a shallow bowl of water
“Feed them cat/cat biscuits or wet cat/dog food.
“Please no milk, mealworms, nuts, seeds, fruits or vegetables, these things can make hedgehogs really bad.
“Keep the ponds safe by adding an escape route.
“Keep on lifting the nets off the ground so they don’t get caught.
“Check overgrown areas before pruning or using any other garden equipment.
“Check fires before starting and compost piles before using a fork.
“Keep gardens clear of litter, and please do not use chemicals or slug granules.
“A feeding station or hedgehog house would be a perfect addition to the garden.”
You can also determine when your hedgehog may need help by looking for: idle or wobbly motion; Being surrounded by flies. pigs out and about without their mother; Visible injuries seem to be trapped out during the day.
If you find a hedgehog in your garden that you think might need help, you can call Porthleven Harbor Hedgie Rescue at 07980 668652.