Police probe death of hedgehog found taped to lamppost by distressed boy, 9
Police are investigating after a hedgehog died after being found taped to a lamppost.
Laura Hughes came across the poor creature on Friday afternoon in Drayton, Oxfordshire.
The mum-of-two was with her nine-year-old in who was at eye level with the animal as they made the shocking discovery.
She took to social media to share her concerns about the cruel act.
Laura posted: “Whoever has done this to a hedgehog along the Abingdon Road should be utterly ashamed.
“I think it’s important that this behaviour is called out and made public, but I appreciate it’s a horrible photo.
“It was particularly horrible in person too, especially for my nine-year-old who was at eye level with it.”
Ms Hughes has reported the incident to Thames Valley Police and described the situation as ‘worrying’.
She said: “The RSPCA website stated that wild animal issues should be referred to local charities, and obviously there was nothing that could be done for the hedgehog so that went nowhere.
“My concern is that animal cruelty is known to lead to other serious offences.
“While I doubt the person responsible for this will be found, it may be helpful to the police if there is a pattern of behaviour going on.
“There were some horses injured nearby the same night, it’s very worrying.”
The animal did not survive its ordeal which has angered people in the Oxfordshire community.
The Mirror previously reported how hedgehog numbers are now so low in Britain that one of our favourite garden animals is on the verge of extinction.
It is estimated that the British population has fallen from about 1.5 million in 1995 to 500,000 in 2018.
Causes include the intensification of farming, an increase in the population of badgers, which prey on hedgehogs, and more traffic on the roads.
The RSPCA said two hedgehogs had been severely injured by garden strimmers in Bournemouth. One had such bad injuries that it had to be put down.
But despite being put on a new red list of British species at risk of extinction by The Mammal Society, they do not have the same legal protection as red squirrels, bats and water voles, desperately needed to help reverse a steep decline in their numbers.
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has urged the Government to add the species to the list of those protected under schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 from deliberate killing and injuring.
Hedgehogs are now listed under schedule 6, meaning they are only protected from being killed by prohibited methods, such as crossbows, traps and snares.
The Government rejected an appeal in 2018 for hedgehogs to be listed under schedule 5.
The society says not only will it help to protect them from intentional disturbance, it would mean that developers would be obliged to take steps to prevent harm to hedgehogs on their sites.