Since the 1950s the number of hedgehogs in Britain has fallen from 30 million to 1 million. In fact, they could be facing extinction in the coming decades.
Having grown up in the UK in during the 1980s, even, I can attest that hedgehogs used to be a fairly common sight, yet I can't remember the last time I've seen one as an adult.
UK charity aims to change all that, and to raise awareness (and funds!) for their fight to save Britain's favorite little mammal, they've enlisted animator Kris Hofman, the same guy who created this dark, poignant reflection on factory farming. This time, Mr Hofman takes us on a rather beautiful journey, as magical footprints lead "Harry" from the suburbs back into the wild.
Besides donating to Wildlife Aid's rescue work, the #SavingHarry campaign is also looking to change behaviors that put hedgehogs at risk. Here's their list of how ordinary citizens can help keep Harry safe.
—Crush and recycle your tin cans so Harry doesn’t get stuck inside.
—Check and double-check your bonfires before lighting them; unlit bonfires can seem like ideal nests to sleepy or hibernating hogs.
—Cut through the plastic rings that connect 4-packs of canned drinks – Harry can get tangled in and hurt by them.
—Roll up your football net after practice so that Harry doesn’t get knotted up in it.
—Take extra care when strimming your garden so you don’t accidently cut Harry.
—Beware of decking! Any gaps in your decking could break Harry’s leg if he accidently stumbles and gets stuck in them.
—Dig small holes under your fence so that Harry can move about freely and doesn’t become trapped.
—If you have a steep-sided pond, place a few rocks at the edge so that Harry can climb out.
—If you use slug pellets or other pesticides, PLEASE make sure they are organic and wildlife friendly, otherwise you will poison Harry.
—Never use chain-link fencing, as Harry can get stuck in it.
—Please place covers back on swimming pools when they are not in use to save Harry from drowning.
—Make sure your gardens are as wildlife-friendly as possible; you could even scatter some cat biscuits in your garden at night for Harry to eat.
And just in case animated hedgehogs don't move you, here's what happens when a real life Harry gets caught up in a cricket net.