Cruel gang blow cannabis smoke at partly-blind hedgehog – before throwing it into a river in Harborough

The hedgehog was rescued from the River Welland by horrified eye-witnesses in the nick of time.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 4:48 pm

A cruel gang blew cannabis smoke into a bag with a partly-blind hedgehog in it – before throwing the poor animal into a river in Market Harborough.

The boys are now being hunted by the RSPCA after the shocking incident – which they branded “horrific and callous”.

The hedgehog was rescued from the River Welland by horrified eye-witnesses in the nick of time.

The hedgehog was rescued from the River Welland by horrified eye-witnesses in the nick of time. Phot by Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital.

The animal is now being looked after and nursed back to health at Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital in Kibworth Beauchamp.

The incident happened on the evening of Saturday April 10 by the Memorial Gardens in the town centre.

Insp Karl Marston, of the RSPCA, said he was “shocked” by the attack on the tiny defenceless hedgehog.

He said it was a “miracle” that “she survived given all she has been through”.

“We are extremely grateful to the members of the public for saving this poor hedgehog’s life and for keeping her safe overnight until we were able to collect her and take her to the hospital.

“Witnesses said they saw a group of young males, possibly teenagers, with the hedgehog.

“They had her in a bag and were believed to be blowing cannabis smoke into the bag,” said Insp Marston.

“They then tipped the hedgehog out of the bag into the water.

“It is hard to imagine why anyone would want to deliberately attack an animal in this horrific and callous way.

“It’s shocking and upsetting and we desperately need to hear from anyone who may know anything about this incident.

“We are very grateful to people who went to save the hedgehog and thank them for their help and support.

“Hedgehogs are in decline in the UK so anything we can do to protect them is vital,” said Insp Marston.

“Anyone with any information about this incident should call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.”

A Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital spokeswoman said: “We are saddened and shocked to hear what has happened to this hedgehog as she would have just woken up from hibernation.

“Despite everything that has happened to her she is still fighting on.

“She’s currently being cared for in one of our incubators.”

She added: “We have discovered that she is blind in one eye.

“We don’t think this is in relation to the cruelty incident - so therefore she will remain in our care.

“She was also covered in ticks, which we have now removed.”

You can find out more about Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital here: https://www.leicestershirewildlifehospital.org.uk/