hedgehog number 604 is happy. Exceptionally, there are meal worms. He likes the most. He smacks his lips loudly, plastered one after the other. Most of the time he and his 110 fellow at the Munich animal shelter get only cat food pre – meal worms for all and every day would be much too expensive.

In the Riemer Strasse 270 each year, overwinter for up to 180 hedgehog. Also number 604 has received a place – he has taken medication and now it is too cold to him the opportunity to live wild. Overwinters will be boxes in Cardboard, because they are better insulated than the plastic houses, where the hedgehogs live in the shelter normally.

In contrast to number 604 obtained in these days, the last ones in the wild to her winter quarters. In the past few weeks, they have eaten a lot to get to a body weight of at least five hundred grams to survive the next months without food.

The winter sleep is not only for hedgehog is a survival strategy to get over the cold and food-poor months. In this country do, for example, bats, dormice and marmots. During hibernation, the body temperature lowers. In addition, heartbeat and breathing rate decrease, and the metabolism is slowed down.

More on this biology The secret life of the hedgehog

The biggest challenge to come to the rescue stations, but in the spring, when the hedgehog in custody Wake up again. Then, they need to be individually released, a process that often takes several weeks. The shelters rely on the help of volunteers, the hedgehogs in the garden, where you slowly back to the freedom to be able to get used to.

Despite the effort, the animal shelter in Munich has no difficulty finding helpers. “Hedgehogs have a very large Lobby,” says Lydia Schübel, the wild animal expert from the Munich animal shelter. “That’s why we always think if we start a call on Facebook or the newspaper. Then the phone rings often three days at a time.”

What to do if you find a hedgehog?

hedgehogs for the winter, sleeping in the nature, in a shelter, for example, in a hedge, a pile of Leaves, or even in a garden shed. Those who work in autumn and Winter, outside in the garden, should therefore be particularly careful.

Normally, animals sleep through the Winter and Wake up only rarely. In spring they Wake up again when it gets warmer than ten degrees. Who met, therefore, currently a hedgehog, you should help him. This means: wrap in a towel and warm him, for example, with a hot water bottle. Hedgehogs eat normal cat food with a lot of meat. Eat the remains of people you should not get, since they tolerate the spices, as is the milk.

At the best a hedgehog is in a Sanctuary repealed. Anyone who finds one should call as soon as possible for the protection of animals or the nearest animal shelter. There, the hedgehog can be included and also overwinter.

Also, the number 604 is released into the wild next spring, and presumably in a Munich garden find a home. Perhaps even in the vicinity of the point at which he was found. There, he knows already.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.