PRICKLY HEAT Brits urged to save hundreds of baby hedgehogs fighting for life in 39C heatwave
HUNDREDS of baby hedgehogs are dying of thirst as Britain's heatwave sends temperatures soaring to 39C - but you can help.
Rescue centres across the UK are receiving record numbers of dehydrated and fly-infested hoglets as temperatures continue to soar.
Youngsters are particularly vulnerable in the dry conditionsCredit: Getty - Contributor
Many of the centres are at capacity and are having to close their doors - but experts say the public can help by leaving out saucers of water to help the hedgehogs hydrate.
The British Hedgehog Preservation society has made a plea for Brits to help their spiky friends and "literally save a life.”
A spokesperson said: “Rescue centres are telling us they are full up and have to close their doors.
“At this time of year it is very difficult for hedgehogs to find food and water so putting out a saucer of water could literally save a life.”
They also suggest gardeners do not cut plants back too far as these can provide valuable shade for hedgehogs to nest and hide in.
Joan Lockley, from West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue, said she has been inundated with suffering baby hedgehogs this year.
While Gemma Smith, from Warwickshire Hedgehog Rescue, said: “It has never been this busy before.
“The heat is really affecting them.”
Youngsters are particularly vulnerable in the dry conditions, which it is feared could be devastating for the already declining British hedgehog population.
While their mums go to find water, the babies are left alone.
Joan said: “I have had a lot of very young hedgehogs and baby hedgehogs brought to me, I am up 50 on last year.
“This is possibly due to their mothers dying in the heat.
“Unfortunately, in this weather the young hedgehogs are more likely to get fly blown which means they are literally eaten alive by flies which come out in the hot dry weather.”
Joan said she is working round the clock caring for the hedgehogs brought to her by concerned members of the public.
She added: “Please please can everybody put water out. The hedgehogs desperately need that."
The UK population of hedgehogs are thought to have plummeted below a million, 30 per cent down since 2002.
Hedgehogs remain vulnerable as Britain’s heatwave continues with The Met Office expecting the mercury to hit 39C or even 40C in London tomorrow.
If the forecast proves correct tomorrow will become the hottest July day ever in the UK, surpassing the 36.7C record in Heathrow in 2015.
Read the full article in The Sun.