CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Saved: Albert the Heath hedgehog

New-born hedgehog spent three days in the rangers’ office

06 December, 2018 — By Jessie Mathewson

A BABY hedgehog found abandoned on Hampstead Heath will spend Christmas recovering at an animal sanctuary after he was rescued by rangers.

The hedgehog, named Albert, was found by ranger Tony Holloway hidden in undergrowth on the Heath last Tuesday.

A search of the area showed no sign of parents. The new-born hedgehog spent three days in the rangers’ office on the Heath before a team from a Welwyn Garden City sanctuary picked him up on Friday.

Hampstead Heath leisure and events manager Paul Maskell said: “He was in a bit of distress when we found him and certainly undernourished. “We kept him nice and cosy in a little box. It was really nice having him in the office. He was such a lovely little thing – very cute.”

But Albert proved to be a difficult house guest when he made a bid for freedom. He was not in his box on Thursday morning, leaving rangers to hunt the office for the Houdini hedgehog.

Mr Maskell said: “We searched all over the office, hunting with flashlights, and eventually found the little fella tucked into a crevice behind our desks.”

Ranger Justin Walsh with Albert

It is not yet clear if Albert – named by Mr Maskell’s daughter Caitlin, 19 – will return to the Heath or be released into the wild elsewhere. Though there are breeding hedgehogs on the Heath, numbers have been falling across the country in recent years.

Mr Maskell said: “We’ve heard from the sanctuary. He’s being well looked after and showing signs of improvement – so it’s a merry Christmas to Albert really.”

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