We have a secret eater! Food is prepared and served and when checked later it has gone but the eater has not been observed and is nowhere to be seen. A secret eater!
It’s nothing very dramatic but interesting nonetheless – I have a hedgehog in residence. It’s a case of enforced residence for this poor hedgehog unfortunately. I was walking around the garden on Saturday last and came on it lying in the grass. It had quite a gash in its head – an attack by a dog or a fox, perhaps! – and was unable to react to my presence; it simply lay there and tucked in its head defensively.
Flies swarmed around its head – bluebottles or greenbottles, I’m not sure – but they had already laid their eggs on the wound. I cleaned the gash as best I could as the patient was not very cooperative and I removed as many of the eggs as possible though I found maggots in the wound in following days and, though they are unsightly and unpleasant to our sensitivities, I wonder if they have a good function; eating the dead and diseased tissue and so keeping the wound clean.
A box with hay became Hedgehog Sick Bay and hopes rose when I managed to coax it to drink a little water from a syringe. I left cat food in a small bowl and some was taken and more and more on following days though I never saw it come out from under cover – the secret eater!
The wound is healing, the appetite is improving and he took a few steps when I took him out onto grass today. It would seem his leg was also injured as he is walking with a limp and is still generally weak. However, on return to his box and being presented with more food it was apparent that his appetite has certainly returned as he tucked in with gusto – this time in full view!