2010/07 – Fred

Fred (male)
rescued 12 June 2010
released into Prickly Ball Lodge enclosed garden 1 July 2010


Fred in pre-release 25 June 2010

Fred wandered into a neighbour’s house during the day. He had a big fat grey tick attached to the fur near his right ear which was removed. A thorough investigation at the vets revealed a small but nasty tick deep down in the right ear canal – this was treated with Ivermectin and it eventually crawled out of the ear and was taken off.

He also had a bulging right eye and a sunken left , suggesting some sort of head trauma. Antibiotics at least equalised the eyes a little, but these minor physical ailments were nothing compared to the sad and unfortunate imprinting which he had been subjected to by fellow humans, as we discovered during his stay with us.

He was also wormed as he started coughing after a few days (quite normal for hogs in captivity to develop lungworm parasite symptoms). He’s very active during the day and seems a bit too ‘over friendly’ – interestingly, he had a blue marking on his forehead suggesting he had been released by someone else.

When he was in pre-release it was soon became apparent that Fred had been imprinted by humans and came out during the day – it had been thought he was blind but this was proven not to be the case. This serves as a sad example of how constantly giving hogs attention, such as cuddling them, talking to them and allowing them a free run around a house, does a lot more harm than good and takes the ‘wild’ out of wildlife. Here at Snuffle Lodge we adopt a ‘hands off’ approach apart from when checking weights, administering medication and cleaning out.

As a consequence, he cannot ever be released back into the wild, as he would be at the mercy of daytime ‘predators’, notably unsympathetic humans and canines, and be unable to feed on insects which normally only come out at night, when it’s cooler.

He relocated to Heather’s wonderful enclosed garden at Prickly Ball Lodge, Sinfin on 1st July, to join fellow Snuffle Lodge rescue hogs, Barney and Bimble.


  1. clayts says:

    Update from Heather :

    Hi Clayts,

    Well I let FRED have a rummage around the garden yesterday once I got him back. He was circling around for awhile and almost bumping into things..

    I put him into the indoor housing where BARNEY and BIMBLE are and left him to see what happened an hour later he was back out in the garden he had pushed down the small fencing over the door from the outdoor house.!!!!!

    So I put him back again closed the outdoor house exit .. Checked on him later he was in BARNEYS house with his nose just out ..

    He was out last night with the others but this morning he is fast asleep with BARNEY in his house, so will keep monitoring him for his activities during daylight hours.

  2. clayts says:

    Update 21 July from Heather :

    Well I have observed FRED since collecting him from you and I can defo confirm your instincts on him being just too friendly were spot on…. But I don’t think he is blind at all.. Think he may of been kept as a pet somewhere.

    He comes out in the day to feed but I don’t let him into the garden just his Shed to try and get him to realise its Day not night.. He does seems to be sleeping more in the day now…. See more

    BUT… last evening around 7pm my pet rabbit was sat in the kitchen as it was raining and I went to put her into her hutch for the night and who should be sat in the kitchen also next to the rabbit… YEP IT WAS FRED !!!

    I went to him and he just lets you stroke his nose no fear at all.. So Although he is nice and healthy and has all his legs !!!! He is just too tame for my liking to be released, so I think it is best for him to just live in the garden. He seems to like it and at least he has BARNEY & BIMBLE for company..

  3. clayts says:

    Update 23 July from Heather

    Well thought would give you quick update..

    we have a small wall down one side of our garden covered in stones, FRED climbs onto anything he can find to climb the wall and once he is up there he thinks he owns it…… See more

    He does not let anything stand in his way.. We heard such a clatter last evening and looked out to see FRED had pushed off the wall a watering can, a plastic box and several other items.. I put them back to see what he did and YEP he just pushed them right off again !!!!!

    He is sharing the Enclosed Garden with BARNEY & BIMBLE who are fine but also 4 Hoggies who are almost ready to be released who I reared only 50 gram babies when they came in but now a staggering 600 grams so more than ready to go.. FRED lets them all know he thinks it is his garden and his alone !!!

  4. clayts says:

    Update 31 July from Heather

    Hi Clayts,

    FRED just gets funnier every day..

    I could not find him this morning when I was doing my cleaning out and searched around for about an hour.. It’s impossible for him to get out of my garden especially as he is rather large !!

    I could not find him anywhere and was completely baffled when I suddenly had a thought, my pet Rabbit MIFFY is let out of her cage at 6am in the morning to have the run of the garden all day and and is put back about 10pm for the night.. Her cage is ground level and the door is open all day..

    YEP their FRED was fast asleep in the Rabbits Bedding !!!! and I presume he had been in their since last evening so he actually shared MIFFY’s hutch for the night.. He is so funny we also found him in a half bag of straw 2 days ago..

    I am seriously thinking about putting him on an electronic tag so I can keep tabs on him!!!

  5. clayts says:

    Update from Heather on 18 May 2011
    Just thought you would like to know that Fred is going to be on the PETS AT HOME Wildlife Christmas Cards 2011… How cool is that!!
    His Picture will be on the Back of the Cards with his name and all about him and Prickly Ball Lodge gets a mention too!!
    He did not bother to hibernate over winter just carried on rambling around in the Snow and any chance he got to get through the back door he was IN.

  6. clayts says:

    Update 31 May 2012

    Sad News poor Fred died last week, he did not appear to have anything wrong with him at all, although he had not been coming out quite so much in the last few weeks..

    It has been a pleasure giving him the life he has had over the past few years, but he will be sadly missed..