Baby hedgehogs are sometimes rescued during the winter time when they were left alone by their mothers as they look for food during the waking hours of hibernation and were not able anymore to go back to its nest for several reasons; either they were attacked by its common predators such as foxes or badgers, or they were unable to withstand the freezing cold weather outside their habitat.
It is troublesome when these hoglets are left all alone without the care of their mother because since they are so small they become easy preys among many predators. A badge for example has an excellent seen of smell therefore they can easily detect the smell of hibernating hedgehogs during the winter. Although hedgehogs can naturally defend themselves against enemies by curling into a tight ball in order to point outwards their quills, a badger can manage to deal with this by digging its claws through an opening near the hedgehog’s belly, which is very sensitive and vulnerable because it is not protected by quills.
Foxes also contribute to the deaths of hedgehogs. They normally eat on sick and already dead hedgehogs, but they are also particular with very young hedgehogs so it is fatal when cute baby hedgehogs are left alone by their mothers in their nests to look for food. While hedgehogs hibernate in the winter, they also enjoy some waking hours that usually happens every 7 to 11 days, and they go back to their nests successfully. While hedgehogs look for food usually at night since insects are more active at dark, they become vulnerable to owls at the same time.
Aside from other animals that feed on them, newly-born baby hedgehogs are also at risk of dying when they were born late in the summer. They are not capable of feeding themselves on more food to increase the levels of their body’s fat reserves. At the winter approaches, there is a scarcity of food to search for. Many hoglets die during the winter because of the insufficient time they have to weigh at least 600 grams before hibernation.