Six baby hedgehogs were lucky to escape alive after being found in a bonfire just before it was about to be lit.
Ramsgill-based hedgehog rescue centre, HAPPY (Hedgehog Appreciation Prickly Pals Yorkshire) was called by a vet in Ripon this week to say the animals had been found just in the nick of time.
Jacqui Morrell, who runs the centre with her husband Peter, said the lucky animals “had a close shave”.
Ms Morrell said hedgehogs like the secluded space offered by an unlit bonfire but many people don’t often think to look for them, or other animals, before lighting up.
“Bonfires are ideal homes for hedgehogs but people don’t always think about wildlife. There’s all sorts in bonfires and it’s not just hedgehogs.”
Ms Morrell added that the hedgehogs will eventually be released back into the area where they were found.
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The centre was previously based in Ripon but recently moved to a larger property in Nidderdale.
The Morrells are currently looking after 40 hedgehogs where they will nurse them back to health before releasing them into the wild.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal and Ms Morrell said if you spot one in daylight hours, it means they are in trouble and need help.
If you see a hedgehog during the daytime call HAPPY on 07506 186567.
Ms Morrell added:
“Don’t delay if you see one out in the town.”