Animal Care learners at Derby College’s Broomfield Hall are preparing to release three hedgehogs back into the wild tonight at around 7.45pm (Tuesday April 25) having spent the winter looking after them.

The three hedgehogs, which learners have named Frosty, Autumn and Fall, were all found locally last Autumn and were too small and under-nourished to hibernate.

They were taken in by the Animal Care department and learners have kept them at a constant indoor temperature to keep them awake and ensured they have been well fed over the winter months.

The trio have been in an outdoor pen for two weeks to acclimatise and will be released at dusk into the grounds at Broomfield Hall.

Animal Care lecturer Abby Bruce is a qualified zoologist and a veterinary nurse specialising in hedgehog conservation before joining Derby College. She said:

Frosty, Autumn and Fall are now at a good weight so should survive well in the wild. They leave behind our three resident hedgehogs have been injured and are therefore not able to be released back into the wild. Tipsy has a head trauma and balance issues, Tripod has just three legs and Little Jimmy can’t curl up.

Caring for these three animals has been good experience for the learners and we also hold regular wildlife first aid courses for the public to raise awareness of how to care for these wonderful creatures. Nationally, the hedgehog population is in decline so it is important that people have awareness of how to look after these animals if they come into the garden, what to feed them on, signs of ill-health and what they should do if there is a problem.

For more information about these and all the full and part time Animal Care courses at Broomfield Hall, please visit the Derby College website or telephone 0800 028 0289.