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04 June 21

The RSPCA and Affinity Water rescue two large hedgehogs stuck down a water meter hole in Luton

When the RSPCA was called to rescue two large hedgehogs who were stuck down a water meter hole in Luton they enlisted the help of Affinity Water’s technicians to dig one of them out.

The rescue, which was expected to be short and sweet, ended up lasting four hours after the two hedgehogs were found wedged down a two-foot pipe - which contained a water meter at the bottom.

Inspector Stephen Reeves from the RSPCA attended and initially thought it would be a case of just scooping the hedgehogs out.

But when he arrived it turned out the hogs were bigger than the 18cm diameter pipe they were stuck in - making the job all the more difficult.

Stephen managed to get the first hedgehog, who was wedged slightly higher up the pipe, out by scooping him out using gloves. But the second hedgehog - was further down the pipe and was stuck under the water meter and the pipe connecting it.

No matter how hard Stephen tried he couldn’t get the hedgehog out, so he called the technicians from Affinity Water to help in the rescue on Tuesday May 26.

In the end Gareth Edwards, a customer service technician with Affinity Water and Robbie Watts, a repair and maintenance contractor with CLC, had to resort to digging down next to the pipe and cutting parts of it bit by bit in order to get the remaining hedgehog out.

Stephen said: “On paper this should have been a ten minute rescue - but it ended up taking four hours and resulted in pipes and concrete being dug out in order to get to the hedgehogs.

“I cannot thank Gareth and Robbie enough. They were fantastic in making it accessible for me to reach the second hedgehog and every time they faced another unexpected problem they just carried on.”

Gareth Edwards commented: “It’s novel for us at Affinity Water to be asked by the RSPCA to rescue a hedgehog stuck in a pipe. It’s good to know they are both now well.”

Stephen continued: “I’m really pleased we were able to save these two hedgehogs - they were both boys and to be honest it is still a bit of a mystery as to how they managed to get themselves in that predicament, as the hole had been covered with a plastic lid!

“They were both cold, hungry and dehydrated and so I took them to a vets - where they were able to recover for a few days. I was then able to release them both back to the wild this week after a kind member of the public gave permission to release them in their garden. “These two were extremely large hedgehogs - some of the biggest I have seen for a while - and had they not been quite so big - I don’t think the rescue would have been quite as difficult as it was!!”

  • To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit its website or call its donation line on 0300 123 8181.
  • Photographs can be downloaded here.

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