Prickly customer gets jarred as he takes a big slug
Published 06/08/2011 | 05:00
EVERYONE ends up with a sore head when they get a bit jarred -- even hedgehogs.
This little creature found himself in a prickly situation when he attempted to locate his lunch -- a slug inside a discarded coffee jar by the side of the road in Barna, just outside Galway city.
Local resident Enda O'Byrne was passing on his motorbike when he spotted the tiny creature in his predicament.
"He was trying to free his head from the jar and was almost suffocating. He was rolling around on the side of the road. I used my motorbike gloves to try and remove the jar.
"I couldn't free it and I was also afraid that I would break its neck, so I brought the poor little thing to Barna Veterinary Clinic," Enda said.
Veterinary nurse Kathryn Molloy said it was not possible to prise the jar away from the creature's neck for fear of causing worse damage.
"The hedgehog was very distressed. His tongue was blue and it was protruding, but we managed to crack the jar at the bottom and we put him in the oxygen chamber for a couple of minutes to revive him," said Ms Molloy.
She and her colleagues were unable to stretch the hedgehog's neck to ease him out of the top of the jar so they anaesthetised him.
"This allowed us to extend the neck and we could then break the top of the glass with a wire cutter. It was difficult, but we managed it," Ms Molloy said.
None the worse for his head-wrecking experience, the hedgehog was handed back to Mr O'Byrne who returned him to the wild, close to where he had found him.
Hedgehogs are known to be very territorial but despite guarding their own patch jealously, they can also travel up to two miles per night hunting for food.