Petition update

Hedgehogs go viral!!!

Hugh Warwick
Oxford, ENG, United Kingdom

Feb 18, 2021 — 

Hedgehogs will NOT give you covid ... I never thought I would have to write that sentence but a flurry of less than scientific articles have appeared with alarmist headlines. "Will the next coronavirus come from a HEDGEHOG?' asks the Daily Mail, 'Hedgehogs and rabbits could be source of future coronavirus outbreaks, scientists warn' suggests the Daily Mirror, while the Daily Star goes further, 'Bombshell study claims hedgehogs could harbour new strain of coronavirus'.

The reason that the hedgehog made the headlines, from the 876 different mammals that were sifted by Artificial Intelligence is not because of an imminent threat, but because hedgehogs sell papers. And just to make sure you are sure - the British Hedgehog Preservation Society has put together this authoritative look behind the headlines. Do read, and do feel reassured!

Is there a positive spin to take from this? Absolutely - 'hedgehogs sell papers' - people love hedgehogs - nearly a million of us have gone as far as signing up to the petition (go on, please, share a little more ... we got so close and then the change.org ran an audit and found that a number of 'bots' and fake accounts had signed, so we lost ground!) And this means that when someone like Jonathan Houseago takes on developers with polite persistence, he wins. It means that when we enter into negotiations with a very large developer, we will probably win (news on that to follow when I can!) - we can all use the hedgehog to our advantage. And when we help hedgehogs we are helping so much other wildlife too! 

Now, today is mild and wet - only mid-February but already over on the Facebook Group there are people recording sightings of hedgehogs. Please look to your garden - run through this list of top tips, see how much you can get done to ensure the hogs have a safe welcome in the spring. 

Oh - as an 'and finally' for the update ... I want to introduce you to a place of delight. Our Hedgehog Highways Facebook group was just getting too busy to cope with the non-conservation stories that were popping up. So we now have a sibling site - Hedgehog Memorabilia and Fundraising - go and join - share all the wild hedgehog things in your house with others who will understand ... and help support the hedgehog groups who are trying to raise necessary funds through the page as well. 

The photo this time - an Ancient Egyptian hedgehog now found in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Why were early civilisations so fond of hedgehogs? Just goes to show how popular they have always been! 


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