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She was surprised she had found such a wonder in her backyard. It was not unusual to find artifacts stashed away or buried on her land. She crept closer intrigued by it, what could it
be this time? She wondered. But as she turned it around, she realized that it wasn’t a relic at all. Shivers immediately went up and down her spine. She needed to get help, and fast.
Bishop’s Stortford, England, is a quaint and historic market town. At first, it was a Roman settlement, and then a new Saxon community grew up on the land. During WWII, this town was the evacuation center for many Britons. So unsurprisingly,
a lot of ancient artifacts are still found in this lively village. She had bought a big piece of land near the town that held a couple of acres, little did she know there was a lot to uncover within in.
Lynne Garner, 49, always had a love for nature. She enjoyed the countryside the best, and she had grown up in Bishop’s Stortford. She knew the town’s ins and outs and promised to always be close to her
birthplace. And she did. She bought land and made it her own, and with years she even became the founder of a non-profit organization. But still, she could have never expected to stumble upon what she did.
Her dreams and passions came together as she founded the organization – Herts Hogline. This non-profit organization aims to care and forest animals and release them back into the English countryside. These incredible animals are part of the
natural heritage the country holds and a campaign was launched to make one of their creatures, in particular, their national animal. Still, no one could believe their eyes when a woman brought in what looked like an ancient relic.
The Care Of Forest Animals
Recent studies showed that there has been a rapid decrease of the animal forest population, so Lynne knew what she had to do – To return whenever possible all animals she cares for back into the wild.
If this is not possible, then they will find a caring home for disabled animals to live long and healthy lives. But one day, her heart sank when she saw how disastrous the situation had really become.
Adoptions And Donations
She had been involved in many cases in the past, and luckily, all of them had had a successful turnaround. The town was completely supportive of her actions and foundation, and
a lot of donations had been poured in throughout the years. She was incredibly happy and lucky doing what she loved, but as she set eyes upon the creature, her heart sank.
Trees And Vegetation
Bishop’s Stortford is known for its extensive lands filled with trees and vegetation. The town is situated around the River Stort valley making their greenery grow wonderfully. But of course, with such dense forests also come natures creatures – predators and prey. Never could it have been thought that nature was sometimes so ruthless.
One day, a woman and her husband were digging around their backyard. They had found interesting relics in the past, so they put on their gloves and got their equipment ready for an adventurous day. They started
by the rocks where they knew artifacts could have been preserved there within the soil, but as they took their tools out and started moving the dirt around, they found a brown lump that looked like something interesting.
Dark Brown Object
The dark brown object was buried in the soil. They immediately looked at each other and knew they had found something of value. The woman quickly ran inside the house to get her camera, this was going to
be an incredible moment. But as soon as she stepped outside, her husband was holding the relic. They had been wrong. This object was no relic at all, and they knew they had to get it to safety.
They couldn’t believe their eyes. They had just uncovered a scared poor little hedgehog buried in their backyard. This was not at all uncommon as there were a lot of them in
the area, but this little guy was not like the rest. The couple rushed him to the A120 Veterinary Surgery near Little Hadham. His diagnosis left them all with tears in their eyes.
The little guy had lost all his spines due to alopecia brought on by his traumatic childhood. This case was very unusual. Hedgehogs use their spines for protection, and for them to not have
this kind of safety out in the wild could end in a bad situation. They attributed his loss of spines due to stress. But what kind of fear could this poor guy have had?
The vets couldn’t think of what they could do to treat him, so they called Lynne Garner, and she immediately knew what to do. As soon as she saw him, she fell head over heels for the
poor creature. The spineless hedgehog was quickly named Derek, and she took him back to her rescue center to help him regain his strength. Little did she know, Derek was still dealing with a lot of trauma.
Cleaned And Treated
Derek had been injured when he was just a hoglet – a baby. But still, the traumatic experience had made him wary of his surroundings. “He [weighed] less than 100 grams, and they [hedgehogs] have to
be 600 grams to survive the winter,” Garner told The Dodo. Derek also had a large, infected wound – possibly from a bird attack – which Garner cleaned and treated carefully over the next few weeks.
“I’ve never seen this before in 25 years of looking after hedgehogs,” Lynne said. This poor guy had been dealing with a lot in his life, but now, Lynne and her team were doing everything they could
to make him well. A hedgehog usually has around 5000 spines, but this guy had lost so many that his body was completely bald. But Lynne thought of a fantastic way to treat this guys’ stress levels.
To reduce his stress levels, Derek needed a more substantial, heated area, free from predators to roam calmly. She wrote a plea on Facebook: “Derek has been diagnosed with stress-related alopecia. To reduce the stress, he needs a large heated area (an escape-proof heated greenhouse with no concrete floor would be ideal) where
he could spend the next couple of months. Alternatively some form of treatment. Is there anyone who has such an enclosure or can suggest treatment? If you don’t, then please spread far and wide. We really want to get him 100% by March so we can release him back into the wild. THANKS.”
One woman called Monique answered; “All sorted. The fab Monique is picking Derek up on Friday. She’s even going to give him a much-needed manicure. I’m sure she’ll be able to achieve what I haven’t – a hog with
spines!” Lynne posted again. Once Derek regained his spines, he could be freed into the wild and would be able to protect himself. But still, there was a lot of work to be done to get him in tip-top condition.
Derek’s wellness routine consisted of soothing massages and a calm and relaxed area for him to be himself. “With the new run hopefully he’ll recover in the next two months and his stress levels will go
down,” Lynne said in an interview. She also spoke to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and other groups in a bid to find a more permanent treatment for the little mammal if his spines would not regrow.
Derek And Lynne
The spa treatment Derek was undergoing did help him. Oil massages are known to treat hedgehogs who experience similar injuries. It stimulates spine growth in even the most severe cases. “He’s a wild animal, and we want to be able to release him as soon as possible,” Lynne added.
In addition to the heated and calm room and oil treatment, Derek was also fed a daily dose of probiotics to help his digestive health and overall well-being. Things started looking up for Derek. His spines were growing
back, and he seemed to be a little happy normal hedgehog. He made a miraculous recovery! With alopecia cases, some growth can be expected, but Derek had all his spines back in no time! What an amazing comeback.
Thanks to Lynne and all her team, Derek the hedgehog can now live a happy life. Even though they still don’t know if he could ever make it out in the wild due to his trauma, they know that he will thrive with them. Derek will never have to worry about anything ever again, he is surrounded by love and companionship!