Following the SOS Bat post, let’s add another little critter to our list of Geneva urban wildlife. Whether you have a small or large patch of garden, what can you do to optimize the chances of these spiky cuties turning up at your home?
Allow me to introduce you to my current obsession: Two little hedgies living in our tool shed, underneath the summer car tires. Hedgehog populations are really struggling across Switzerland and Europe in general, so any support we can give to these animals can make a big difference.
In our garden, we’ve implemented a few tips borrowed from the UK’s British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
- Linking our garden to our neighbors via small openings (13X15 cm), to help them roam at night through multiple gardens.
- Eliminating the use of garden pesticides or chemicals.
- Allowing a wild corner of plants to grow (a great excuse to not bother with cultivating that perfectly manicured garden!)
- Feeding them. I use a mix of hedgehog food from Coop and some dried mealworms from Botanic. They love the worms and go for them first. We also put out fresh water, especially on hot days when there hasn’t been a recent rain.
- Try to resist disturbing them too much. This is sometimes difficult given their cuteness (they have endured many of my clucks and coos), slow speed, and preference for crawling on my husband’s tools.
With luck they will continue living with us for years to come. And like SOS Bat, if you happen to find a sick or injured hedgehog, then contact SOS Hérissons as soon as possible. SOS Hérissons is the only hedgehog rescue center in the Geneva area, and this organization also provides opportunities to sponsor hedgehogs currently in their care. And perhaps best of all, you can even apply to adopt a hedgehog (for release in your garden). For more details, click here.
Let’s support our local wildlife! Do you have hedgehogs or other Swiss critters in your neighborhood? Please share below!
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to learn more about our activities and excursions, visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/
You readers might be interested in thriving hogs in the center of Basel… They seem to like Migros kitten food a lot – which is what they mostly get. I will try your mealworms – thats sounds quite interesting.
2019 playlists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv7zPG18fQk&list=PLk1QgAytXQx-I0VXmNsjFQQ8JoHvQrMon
2020 Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLk1QgAytXQx9oIEfbF2qE7-uo9EheVLOg
Thanks, Davy! Glad to know that the hedgies are thriving in central Basel. They are so cute and I imagine they are awake and hungry after their winter hibernation, or will be soon!
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