The mowers are causing more and more horrific injuries to hedgehogs in the Province
Hedgehog shelter “’t Egelhuus” (the hedgehog house) has asked residents not to use robotic lawnmowers in the evening and at night, reports RTV Drenthe.
“In recent years, we have been receiving more and more victims with head and nose injuries. These are terrible injuries that make us have to put the animals to sleep,” says Linda de Jong, of ‘t Egelhuus in Hollandscheveld, near Hoogeveen in southern Drenthe.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals. During the day they sleep in a well-hidden nest and emerge around dusk to search for food. Unfortunately, with more and more people using their robotic mowers in the evening hours, they are inadvertantly causing grievous injuries to the hedgehogs.
“We never saw these kinds of injuries in the past, but we have already had five this year,” says De Jong. “Last week we had another one of which the entire head was mowed away. That hedgehog was walking on the street and was fortunately found by people who brought the animal to us. But there was no saving it then.”
When in danger, a hedgehog defends itself by curling up, unfortunately sometimes right in the way of a lawn mower. “I’ve read that the newest and most expensive mowers have a sensor to avoid obstacles. So it will decrease in the future but we still see it. Maybe because hedgehogs are a bit lower to the ground and because their nose is sticking out. Or they are mowers without a sensor.”
‘t Egelhuus has been calling for the banning of robotic lawn mowers on these ground: “I would think it would be ideal if they disappear, but I understand that people want to keep them. That is why this call is being made to not switch them on in the evening and at night”, says De Jong.