Alumna Laura Frost (Veterinary Medicine 2003), a veterinary surgeon at Wood Green, The Animals Charity, returned to Fitzwilliam College to rehome baby hedgehogs she’d hand-reared back to health.
Laura has looked after 15 hedgehogs at her home in Cambridge this winter and has converted her garage into a hog hospital. As well as working for Wood Green, Laura is also a home care volunteer for Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital.
She got in touch with Veterinary Medicine Fellow at Fitzwilliam College Angie Tavernor last month to arrange a new home for her spiky patients.
Laura says: “The two hedgehogs that are being released at Fitz were very small when they first came to me. Mistletoe was found in a colleague’s hen coop just before Christmas and needed treating for lungworm.
“The other hedgehog will be released at Fitz shortly, once he is disease-free. I named him Tiny as he was the smallest hedgehog I’d ever seen – he weighed about 80g at first but now he’s 720g. I syringe-fed him for six days and treated him for ringworm.
“When they are tiny babies they haven’t learned their local area so it is ok to release them in a different place to where they were found, which has come in handy since the lockdown.”
Fitzwilliam College has a growing population of hedgehogs. Laura says the gardens provide an ideal habitat for them, with a lot of low-growing shrubs and great biodiversity of insects for them to eat. Steve Kidger, Head Gardener at Fitzwilliam College, has worked hard to establish a hedgehog friendly habitat, including log piles, hog hotels and feeding stations in the gardens. He has also eliminated use of pesticides.
“When we release hedgehogs we want to give them the best chance they have to breed. We make sure that they are a good weight and disease-free with the resources that they need to thrive,” Laura says.
Earlier this year, Fitzwilliam was the first Oxbridge College to achieve the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Bronze Award thanks to staff, students and Fellows rescuing and rehoming hedgehogs.