RSPCA agent Clara Sally, who arrived in response to the call, examined the animal carefully and found that it was indeed a hedgehog, but covered from head to toe in a thick blue paint. Clara was worried for the hedgehog, the paint could have harmed his health. She picked up the hedgehog and took it to West Hatch Wildlife Rescue Center.
Fortunately, help arrived in time, the hedgehog was still alive and could be saved, explains Sally. We don’t know exactly how he got hurt, if he got into the paint bucket himself, or if some jerk painted him for fun. But it doesn’t matter now, as long as he gets the help he needs.
Due to his blue color, the hedgehog was nicknamed Sonic, after the blue hedgehog from the video games. Removing the paint from his needles proved to be a challenge. The paint was deeply embedded in each needle. Center staff were able to remove the larger remnants of paint, but had to leave the rest as is. We had to anesthetize him to remove the pieces, says Dr. Bel Deering.
The paint was elastic and difficult to remove. It was also very caustic and there were inflamed areas where it came into contact with the skin. You need to monitor its healing separately. In the center, the hedgehog eats well and quickly gains weight. When he has completely recovered, he is released into the wild, far from dwellings.
Hedgehogs are small but very active. They have no trouble getting into open cans, even those containing paint or household chemicals. The RSPCA urges people to be careful when storing tin cans and to always close them with a lid. This will prevent accidents involving animals.