Hedgehogs found on the street: how you can help

Not every hedgehog on the street needs help urgently. Before you pick up the animals and even take them home, you should make sure that the cute spiny animal is really a hedgehog in need. However, if the hedgehog is injured or is in danger from traffic, find out how you can help here. A hedgehog on the street can easily be run over - Shutterstock / Barsan ATTILA

Hedgehogs no longer live mainly in the forest or in the field, but in the human settlement area. This means that the useful insectivores keep getting lost on streets or other roads. There they run the risk of being run over by cars or other vehicles if they cannot escape quickly enough. When you find a hedgehog on the street, it is important that you behave correctly.

Hedgehog found: what to do?

If you spot a hedgehog on the roadside that looks healthy and shows no visible injuries, you should never collect the spiny animal and take it home. Hedgehogs are loyal to their location and hang on their territory. If you "transplant" them, they will no longer find their way and may no longer be able to hunt food, causing them to starve.

What you can do for the hedgehog on the street: Determine which direction the animal wants to run. If the hedgehog wants to cross the street, take it up carefully, carry it across the road in the direction of travel and set it down a few meters from the roadside - ideally in a shrubbery so that it is protected from predators. In the safe green, away from the dangers of road traffic, the little insectivore finds its way by itself and no longer needs your help.

When the hedgehog has to go to the vet

While a healthy hedgehog only needs a small carrying aid across the street and then copes well on its own, sick and injured hedgehogs need your help. You can recognize a sick hedgehog by the fact that it is out and about during the day instead of at night, is apathetic and hardly curls up. Sick hedgehogs are often lean, with protruding hip bones and an indentation behind the head. The eyes are sunken and narrowed to slits instead of protruding hemispherically. Flies often settle on sick hedgehogs.

If you find a hedgehog in this condition, you should collect it and take it to the vet or a hedgehog station as soon as possible. Orphaned hedgehog cubs, which are so small that their eyes and ears are closed, and hedgehogs in winter, who are out in the ice and snow, must be brought to the vet immediately.

Do not take healthy hedgehogs home

If you have found a healthy hedgehog on the street and are thinking about taking the cute spiked bearer into your home garden, you should quickly refrain from this idea. In Germany it is forbidden to take protected animal species - such as the hedgehog - from nature. However, there is an exception if the animal is sick or injured and needs to be cared for healthily.