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Growing number of hedgehogs mysteriously found dead around village

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A growing number of hedgehogs have been found dead in a small area of Tasburgh, with some even foaming at the mouth.

Suspicions have been raised that an increased use of pesticides – a response to a growing rat infestation in the area – is inadvertently killing the animals.

Tasburgh resident Claire Frost has already discovered three dead hedgehogs near to her home, and has captured a further five to take to a nearby sanctuary, where they are being monitored to examine what is behind the deaths.

Poppy and Claire Frost of Tasburgh have been putting up posters around Tasburgh
Poppy and Claire Frost of Tasburgh have been putting up posters around Tasburgh

“It’s horrific,” said Mrs Frost, who has been regularly feeding the animals in the 10 years she has lived in the village. “When we found the first hedgehog, we took it to the vets, and the woman said it looked a little dehydrated.

“But four days after that, we found another, and another three days after that. The third was foaming at the mouth, and that’s when we knew it was a problem.”

During lockdown, gardens around Mrs Frost’s home in Grove Lane have seen a growing number of rats, leading worried residents to suspect that unsuspecting hedgehogs are eating the pesticides laid out for rodents.

One of the hedgehogs that Mrs Frost has rescued. (36866090)
One of the hedgehogs that Mrs Frost has rescued. (36866090)

As a result, Mrs Frost has been staying up at night in an effort to catch the animals, and take them to a sanctuary in Long Stratton where they can be tested and then released back into the wild.

She said: “We’re told we need to capture them, so I have to creep up behind them and pick them up. We feed them regularly, and I’ve been in absolute tears because it goes against everything I believe to capture a wild animal, but I have to get them out the area.”

The 55-year-old and her daughter, Poppy, 22, have taken to putting up posters in the village, urging people to use pesticides in ways which will not inadvertently kill other animals, such as keeping them in a locked bait box.

Despite their best efforts, Mrs Frost fears that much of the damage may have already been done.

“We have been looking after the hedgehogs since we have been here, always putting food and water out, and we’ve always had visitors,” she said.

“I’m still putting food out, but we’ve had no hedgehogs coming – they’ve all disappeared. We’ve effectively lost our whole hedgehog population.”

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