A wildlife charity is bracing itself for a tidal wave of hedgehogs this winter.
Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF), in Leatherhead, fears their hospital could soon reach its capacity of 300 orphaned hedgehogs.
The charity say the extra burden comes after a reduction in wildlife rehab centres because of the downturn in donations to charities.
WAF founder and director, Simon Cowell, said: "We usually find ourselves having to take care of up to 100 hedgehogs over the winter months but this year we are taking in hedgehog patients that have been turned away by smaller centres."
It is understood that there are already more than 2,500 hedgehogs in wildlife hospitals and sanctuaries around the country.
But Mr Cowell said: "Some of these charities simply cannot cope with the influx and have had to say 'enough is enough'.
"This is understandable - but although we are one of the larger centres it is still a stretch for us to take on these extra patients in such large numbers."
To donate £3 to WAF text "hedgehog" to 70300.
You can also join WAF's animal adoption scheme and adopt a hedgehog for £24.95 or buys a £100 WAF gift card.
For more information visit www.wildlifeaid.org.uk .
Article from Alice Foster at epsomguardian
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