Three baby hedgehogs have been orphaned after they were accidentally burnt in a bonfire alongside their mother as they blended in with the wood.
All four had burnt skin or spines and were suffering from smoke inhalation, leading to the mother hog dying shortly after being rescued.
The RSPCA is warning people to be careful when lighting fires this autumn asking them to be extra vigilant of the woodland creature.
Now the three spikey orphans are recovering at the East Winch wildlife centre near King’s Lynn, Norfolk after being discovered in a back garden fire.
Centre manager Alison Charles said: “The members of the public who brought this hedgehog family in were really upset as they did the right thing and actually had checked the bonfire before starting it – but just didn’t see them.
“They did see the hogs once the fire was lit, and pulled them out, but not until it was too late for the mum, unfortunately.
“It can be very hard to see a brown hedgehog in amongst a pile of wood, and the only way to be sure is to move the bonfire before actually lighting it.”
“It helps to build the bonfire as near as possible to the time of lighting, to ensure hedgehogs and other wildlife are not sleeping in the pile when it is lit.
“It is a cautionary reminder as we enter the fireworks and bonfire season about the importance of taking the time to check bonfires before they are lit.”
Once the survivors have made a recovery they will be returned to the wild.