Abandoned hedgehogs find new home thanks to Mulhollands

Paul Mulholland and his daughter Sarah McIntyre with Dogs Stella 1 and Lizzie 3 who sented out four baby hedgehogs in their Clare Road Home Garden in Ballycastle. INBM43-14S
Paul Mulholland and his daughter Sarah McIntyre with Dogs Stella 1 and Lizzie 3 who sented out four baby hedgehogs in their Clare Road Home Garden in Ballycastle. INBM43-14S

A Ballycastle couple had a prickly surprise last week when they found four baby hedgehogs at the bottom of their garden.

Paul and Esther Mulholland from Clare Road made the spiky discovery after their two dogs Stella and Lizzie sniffed the little creatures out. It is believed the hedgehogs had been abandoned by their mother and after watching them decided to lend a helping hand.

Paul Mulholland who sented out four baby hedgehogs in their Clare Road Home Garden in Ballycastle. INBM43-14S

Paul Mulholland who sented out four baby hedgehogs in their Clare Road Home Garden in Ballycastle. INBM43-14S

Esther explained: “Every time we let our two dogs out into the back garden they kept barking at the hedge and wouldn’t come in. We couldn’t understand what was wrong with them and Paul went to investigate but couldn’t see anything.

“However the next day we opened the backdoor and again the dogs ran straight down the garden and kept barking. So Paul went down and this time he went deeper into the hedge and that’s when he discovered the four baby hedgehogs. Obviously we left them for a while and kept the dogs in but their mother never came back. Whether the dogs had scared her away, she been killed or she had just abandoned them we don’t know.”

After telephoning Moyle District Council and speaking to the Biodiversity Officer Rachel Bain, the Mulholland couple decided to take them in.

Esther continued: “Rachel said the babies were too young to hibernate and so needed to be taken in, kept warm and fed watered down cat food to keep them hydrated. So Paul put on gloves and lifted them into a cardboard box. We put straw in for them to burrow and put in a hot water bottle to keep them warm.”

The baby hedge hogs who had been abandoned by their mother. INBM43-14S

The baby hedge hogs who had been abandoned by their mother. INBM43-14S