Video: Confused, cold and hungry hedgehogs kept warm at East Yorkshire haven
AS THE snow melted and milder temperatures set in, many East Yorkshire hedgehogs peeped out from under their leafy beds.
To them, it felt like the start of spring after hibernation – but the return of the cold has left them confused and chilly.
Now, one woman has made it her mission to help the hedgehogs with heated accommodation, regular meals and hot water bottles.
Emma Fetches, 39, runs The Hog Cabin in Hutton Cranswick, nursing 89 prickly patients through the winter months.
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"They're getting very confused, because we've had the snow and then it got quite mild, then they woke up and the snow came back," Emma said.
"They can't get their body heat back unless we warm them up.
"We look after them until the warm weather comes to stay."
The best way of telling if a hedgehog is chilly is by stroking its tummy.
Frightened hedgehogs will roll up into a ball and Emma has to gently rock them until they uncurl.
"You can tell if a hedgehog is cold or not by feeling its tummy," she said.
"If the tummy's cold, we will put it on a hot water bottle.
"Once a week, my hedgehogs also get a multi-vitamin."
The cold is not the only danger hedgehogs face.
Emma is very concerned about poisonous slug pellets used by gardeners.
Hedgehogs love eating slugs and if the poison gets into their stomachs, it can make them very ill.
"Pesticides are a big problem," she said.
"People use slug pellets that aren't animal-friendly and we get quite a few hedgehogs in the summer with poisoning.
"You can get animal-friendly slug pellets from a garden centre for a few extra pence."
Another problem is garden ponds. Although hedgehogs are reasonable swimmers, if they fall in, it can be a struggle to get back out.
Emma said: "Everyone's got a fish pond and hedgehogs fall in when they go down to get a drink.
"They've got a unique talent for getting into trouble.
"Putting some pebbles round the side of a pond so they can climb out can save them."
Despite their difficult behaviour, Emma loves the little animals.
She first got involved in hedgehog rescue several years ago after finding a hoglet shivering on her doorstep.
"I took it in and didn't know what to do," she said.
"I warmed it up with a hot water bottle and gave it a little bit of food."
With Emma's care, her lodger made it through the winter and soon she started getting calls from neighbours with a helpless hedgehog on their hands.
Emma said: "Sometimes I can come home from work and find a box on the step with a hedgehog in it."
"I do rely on a lot of help from other people and we get really good donations.
"We need newspapers, old towels and food bowls.
"We can make good use of things people think of as rubbish and throw away. It's amazing how quickly you can get through a big stack of newspapers."