Police are appealing for information and witnesses following an incident in Shenley where a pregnant hedgehog was attacked and seriously injured.
At around 7pm on Monday, June 20 several boys were seen kicking the hedgehog and throwing stones at it in Porters Park Drive, close to the junction with Tagalie Place.
Two passers-by intervened and the youths, thought to be aged between 12 and 13, were abusive before making off down an alleyway. The hedgehog was taken to a rescue centre for treatment.
PC Dan Hill said: “Thankfully two passers-by intervened as I doubt this hedgehog would have survived the attack otherwise.
“After being taken to the rescue centre it was discovered that the animal was pregnant and had suffered a number of serious injuries including the loss of sight in one of her eyes, spinal damage, a broken leg, fractured jaw and a laceration to her jaw.
“She is currently being cared for at the rescue centre and has since given birth to three hoglets, sadly one was stillborn.
“Vets found that the hedgehog was microchipped and checks revealed that she was born at a rescue centre last year after her mother was injured. They had been released back into the wild in October.
“We are a nation of animal lovers so I’m sure that many of you will be appalled by this incident. I would like to reassure the local community that we do take animal cruelty seriously and the Rural Operational Support Team, who specialise in dealing with rural and wildlife crime, will be assisting us with this investigation.
“If you were in the area at the time and saw what happened or have dash cam footage or CCTV or any other information that could help us to identify those involved please get in touch as soon as possible.”