During the autumn months hedgehogs are busy fattening up ready to hibernate through the winter, when their food supplies are scarce.
Hibernation seems to be triggered by a period of continuous cold weather. The hedgehog will find a cosy place to curl up, such as under a wood pile (this is why it is imperative to check before lighting bonfires). They will make a nest of dry leaves to keep them insulated. During hibernation their body temperature drops to that of their surroundings, bodily functions and breathing slow right down so that they are in a state of torpor. They often wake up during the winter and come out looking for water and snacks, so it is important to keep providing supplies. They will use their fat reserves to increase their metabolic rate to wake up.
To successfully hibernate and wake up again it is thought that hedgehogs need…
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