This is the shocking image of a baby hedgehog that died in agony after it is believed it ate rat poison in Thornton.
The hoglet was brought into Blackpool Hedgehog Rescue on St Annes Road last week. But it could not be saved, and died one day later, haemorrhaging blood.
Rescue founder Jean Turner, 76, (inset) said the hoglet was one of a number of hedgehogs that had been brought in from the Thornton area suffering the suspected effects of rat poison.
She said: “They start bleeding internally. You notice the mouth and tongue start to go red, and then it’s just bleeding from the back end. It’s horrendous. It will cause absolutely awful suffering. I think no animal should be made to suffer like that
“The saddest thing is there’s absolutely nothing you can do at all to save them.”
A spokesman for Wyre Council, which lays down rat poison, said: “All of our pest control methods for rodents are designed to keep the wildlife around them out of harm’s way. Our team use tamper proof boxes which are designed to stop non-target wildlife from gaining access to the bait. A risk assessment is always carried out before a treatment is started and if any hedgehog activity is seen, the boxes are covered over to restrict access further. Treatments are normally spread over a four week period with all bait used recorded and all bait removed at end of treatment. We also carry out a search of the treatment area to ensure no dead rodents can be picked up by animals like cats, dogs, birds and foxes.”
But Jean said: “This is a baby hedgehogs, a quarter of the size of an adult. They would be able to get in the traps.
“Please, please do not put down rat poison, because it’s not just rats that are ingesting it, it’s hedgehogs too.”