Via Wildlife Aid/YouTube
The male hedgehog, coincidentally named Greg, was the first to be released by Cowell as Thompson and Wise watched.
A video posted to YouTube by Wildlife Aid on September 9 shows the release of two orphaned European hedgehogs into the back garden of Academy-award winning actress Emma Thompson and her husband Greg Wise, who is an actor/producer. Wildlife Aid, founded by Simon Cowell (no, not the “X Factor” chap), had cared for the young hedgehogs until they were healthy and strong enough to be released. Thompson was initially told to expect one hedgehog, so her reaction when she was told that two were to grace her garden is priceless.
The European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is a small mammal that inhabits a large range covering numerous countries in Europe. Although the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists it as a species of least concern for being threatened with extinction, this hedgehog has had a drastic drop in population in the United Kingdom. According to the report “The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2011” by David Wembridge, a quarter of the population of hedgehogs has been lost in the past 10 years. Habitat loss and man-made dangers are largely contributing factors to this.
Several organizations are working to reduce this population decline. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society was founded in 1982 and is dedicated to helping and protecting these animals. It is devoted solely to hedgehogs. Wildlife Aid Foundation has been saving all types of wildlife in the United Kingdom for more than 30 years.
Oh, and for fans of Thompson’s “Nanny McPhee” movie, there’s a bit of fun trivia at the end of the video.