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What do I do if I Find a Hedgehog?

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General Advice

Small Animals


Hedgehogs are nocturnal, omnivorous, wild animals, so they sleep during the day and are active at night. They eat mostly insects and earth worms but are opportunistic and will willingly dig into any left over cat or dog food!

If you see a hedgehog out and about during the day it is likely to be sick and may need your help!

Here are some ways to help:

Place the hedgehog in a safe environment

Using gloves or an old towel, capture the hedgehog carefully and place it in a box lined with newspaper - make sure it's a deep box as hedgehogs are escape artists!

Keep the hedgehog warm

Bring the hedgehog inside or into a garage. You can use a hot water bottle to keep them warm, but ensure you wrap it in a towel so they don't get burnt. Place the hot water bottle under the box so the hedgehog doesn't get stuck underneath it.

Refill regularly to keep the hedgehog warm - a cold hedgehog won't be interested in eating and food will be vital to their recovery! If you don't have a hot water bottle, a wheat bag or a plastic milk bottle will do.


Hedgehogs love to hide, so placing some old towels or blankets at one end of the box will give them a great snuggly place to burrow into.


Provide the hedgehog with ceramic dishes of food and water. They love cat food, dog jelly-meat and biscuits, apples and bananas. Do not feed them bread or milk as this will make them sick.

Help and assistance

If you are concerned about the health of a hedgehog, you can contact Hedgehog Rescue New Zealand for further advice and assistance.