This woman in York, England, has a whole house full of hedgehogs! Animal-lover Emma has rescued hundreds of hapless hedgehogs over the years, and knows a thing or two about how to keep hedgehogs happy. For six years, Emma has been treating the elusive critters for injury and illness, housing them in safe keeping until they can return to the wild.

Emma explains that hedgehogs face a lot of challenges, especially in busy towns and cities. Habitat loss, rubbish, waste, cars, dogs and gardening accidents all menace these often-unnoticed nocturnal creatures; and humans are directly responsible for many of these dangers.

Fortunately, humans can also help: Emma has rehabilitated over 350 hedgehogs since 2012. Because her patients are wild animals, she always aims to treat them and release them, rather than having them live in cramped captivity.

Emma’s favourite success story

Clearly, Emma has seen a lot of cases – but one remains ever-present in her memory as her biggest success story. A hedgehog named Octavia arrived at the hospital with severe injuries from a dog bite. When an aggressive infection caused Emma’s new friend to start losing her quills, a veterinarian recommended euthanasia. Emma, however, refused to give up on Octavia, and her determination paid off – with lots of attention and medication, the compassionate caretaker saved Octavia’s life.

Emma believes that anyone can do their part for wildlife in danger, even if it’s just making sure an injured animal is taken to someone who can treat it. She hopes that her passion for rescuing hedgehogs inspires others as “a tiny bit of a much bigger piece of work.” In short, Emma’s philosophy is that any rescue effort, large or small, makes a difference in the lives of animals. Hundreds of healthy hedgehogs would agree!