The Scottish SPCA is urging the public to contact its animal helpline if they find a hedgehog this winter.
Staff at the charity’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre are currently caring for more than 50 hedgehogs, the majority of which are too small and weak to survive outside during the cold weather.
Colin Seddon, centre manager, said: “Hedgehogs should be hibernating by now but there will be some out there who won’t survive without help. We would be particularly concerned for a hedgehog seen outside during the day and would urge anyone who finds one to call us.
“Most of the hedgehogs in our care haven’t been able to store up the necessary body fat to go into hibernation or are from late litters. Many were half their ideal weight when they were rescued.
“Hedgehogs will be out foraging for food such as earthworms, beetles, slugs, snails, insects, fruit and carrion but they’ll be finding it very difficult at this time of year.”
He added that anyone who finds a hedgehog should pick it up using gardening gloves or a thick towel, place it in a secure fox and provide fresh water and preferably chicken-flavoure catfood until the charity’s staff can pick it up.
Anyone who finds a hedgehog should call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.