Mascara Brushes Can Save Little Hedgehogs
"When they're (baby hedgehogs lost from their mothers) out for a few days on their own it makes them really at risk of parasites and mites, fleas and things like that. So sometimes when they come in they just need to get brushed to get some of the things out of them, even the fly eggs as well" - Wildlife Manager at New Arc, the North East Wildlife, and Animal Rescue Center Flo Blackbourn
In an unusual example of recycling, a quarter-million mascara brushes have been sent to a Scottish animal rescue center.
They are used to groom small animals.
One beneficiary of the mascara brush is the baby hedgehog or “hoglet.” Winter can be a tough time for hoglets. A recent visitor to the center could see a little hoglet being groomed. The hoglet weighed just under 600 grams, the minimum healthy weight for hedgehogs.
“When we get baby hedgehogs in often at this time of year they’ve been without their parents for a few days so their mothers might start hibernating without them and because they’re not at the weight where they can hibernate themselves when they’re out for a few days on their own it makes them really at risk of parasites and mites, fleas and things like that. So sometimes when they come in they just need to get brushed to get some of the things out of them, even the fly eggs as well,” Wildlife Manager at New Arc, the North East Wildlife, and Animal Rescue Center Flo Blackbourn said.
Other small animals also benefit from the mascara brush grooming. There are some 300 animals at the center. About half are domestic animals like ducks and chickens, and the rest are injured or baby wild animals like bats and squirrels.
The founder of New Arc, Keith Marley liked the idea of reusing something that would otherwise have been discarded.
But, the center didn’t guess how many people would respond to their request for the mascara brushes which keep coming.
“We started getting them in numbers and I mean big numbers. I think at the last count we probably got about 250,000 and every day the post comes in and there’s at least a dozen packets and it’s all full of mascara wands. It’s great. I really appreciate people taking the time and effort, but it kind of bypasses what we really needed in the first place,” Marley said.
The biggest challenge for the center in dealing with rescued wild animals is keeping the animals wild while they recuperate.