Animal Lover Turns Home Into Hedgehog Hospital


GILL LUCRAFT: In the last 20 years, we have been killing them by the thousand, and the
more we can do to help them, the better. COMM: Hidden inside this cozy cottage is a hospital that rescues over 700 hedgehogs a
year. Web developer Gill Lucraft started Hedgehog Bottom 10 years ago after she found
an injured hedgehog in her garden. GILL LUCRAFT: We looked after this little one right the way through the winter and in
the spring it came out and I was absolutely delighted. We called him Speedy Gonzales.
And it all started from there. Six months later there was a tiny baby one came out during
the day and collapsed on my foot in heat, and we whipped him off to another rescue and
then we decided we could probably do it ourselves. So, that’s pretty much how Hedgehog Bottom started. COMM: The numbers soon shot up until the hedgehogs took over her house. GILL LUCRAFT: The first year that we started this, we took in three over the winter. The
following year, we had six and then it went up to 18 and then after that it just went
through the roof. COMM: Gill treats everything from mange to horrific strimmer injuries with the help of
volunteers and her local vet. They also hand feed babies every two hours during hoglet
season. Domestic hedgehogs are released back into the wild once they’ve recovered, but
Gill also has some more exotic residents. GILL LUCRAFT: This is African pygmy hedgehog that has been dumped as a pet. They can’t
be released into the wild because they would die. So, they are permanently in cages and
in order to get enough exercise, they are given a large rat wheel to run on every night.
The problem with that is hedgehogs are notorious for pooing as they go. And so on a wheel,
it’s catching poo and they just run through it so, they get absolutely covered. And we
have every now and then to clean their feet, because they end up with ‘poo boots’
and in fact this little one hasn’t got any poo boots but he has got, managed to get spread
all up his leg. Here we go, mate. As you can see that they’re not over delighted. GILL LUCRAFT: Here we go. There, there, that’s better, isn’t it? COMM: Her volunteers are familiar with the mess hedgehogs can get into. AARON DOY: Different hedgehogs will need different food requirements and we had one that had
a wet food requirement, didn’t get on with the biscuits. And every day she would use
her food tray as part of a running track around the place, so wet food which has been tramped
around the entire place, and wet food tramped around, that smells quick. That was not a
pleasant cage to clean out each time. COMM: And stray fingers must be kept away from one of Hedgehog Bottom’s permanent
residents. GILL LUCRAFT: This is Milli and she is a desert hog. We’re not sure if she is actually an
Egyptian desert hog or she is Algerian or one of those. But she is certainly not native
to this country. She’s been with us for about a year now and she is probably the most
vicious animal on the planet. You just don’t get near her teeth at all. One of the big
things working with her is make sure that your hands are always well away from the front end. COMM: With hedgehog populations declining, Gill hopes to expand. GILL LUCRAFT: They are not currently on the Endangered Species List, but they are severe decline. And the more we can do to help them, the better. COMM: But she has words of caution for anyone else thinking of setting up their own hedgehog rescue. GILL LUCRAFT: The first thing I will say… don’t. Don’t! It’s a slippery slope. You start off with one and then you lose your life completely. GILL LUCRAFT: Basically the first thing you need to do is find another rescue that’s
willing to work with you. Because if you just start up by yourself, what tends to happen
is you find that you’re taking in animals and wasting a hell of a lot of money and resources
while you learn the ropes. GILL LUCRAFT: I would say 95% of the people who bring them in are just completely naturally
smitten with them, because they didn’t realise just how darn cute they are. They are amazing creatures and there is nothing else like them on the planet.

43 thoughts on “Animal Lover Turns Home Into Hedgehog Hospital

  1. African pygmy hedgehogs can eat cat food and can't escape from sinks when bathing, they also feel the safest when in towels

  2. Lorries loads of good karma are coming for Misses Gill Lucraft and the great VOLUNTEER STAFF at the Berkshire Hedgehog rescue.. My last 5pounds in my pocket to start a GOFUNDME UK campaign..

  3. Bless this woman! I have my own pet hedgehog named Roxy, and she makes such a mess with her poops! D: She even goes in her food dish sometimes and I have to clean and refill her dish lmao

  4. These Hedgehogs are gorgeous!!!!! Animals rule thats why I do outdoor videos to connect with animals.💜

  5. They are gonna be sonics they gonna be fast when they run they will be zooming through the house
    Edit: what happens if you forget their name oh you have the name on the tub i think

  6. bless this women’s heart helping gods creatins ❤️💜💞💝🧡🖤💓💛💚❣️💖💙💕💘♥️

  7. I am on a late night vigil to rescue the small ones who wont survive hibernation , so far i have 1 in a big run with leaves and catfood/water . wont go to sleep till 3am. 290gms .. I will take it to Waltham abbey animal rescue and give a large donation.

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