The answer is when it is Trent University – which is more of a glorified sixth form that takes people from around the country instead of just locally. I say this after seeing this story in the week. It laughingly refers to the people ultimately responsible for killing a hedgehog as “researchers”.
In case any Trent University “researchers” are reading this, it is probably worth reminding them what a hedgehog normally looks like.
However, this is what one looks like after Trent University “researchers” have got to it.
The dirty silver thing is a radio transmitter, and the various coloured tags are shrink- or heat-wrapped to the hedgehog’s spines. You have to wonder what sort of retard would attach THAT many tags to a single animal. Well, actually you don’t have to wonder too much when you think of sixth-formers pretending they’re scientists.
Wildlife experts have commented that the coloured tags are far too long and would most likely interfere with the animal’s normal behaviour. They could easily have become entangled. Apparently, the radio transmitter was twisted around the animal when it was found by someone in their garden. Experts have pointed out that such a bulky device would have prevented the animal from crawling under low hedges, gates, and fences, and would thus have put it at risk from predators.
The vet who treated the hedgehog removed TWENTY SIX tags.
The hedgehog was:
…dehydrated, underweight, had mange, severe colitis, broken toes on one foot and [sic] intestinal fluke, and died despite attempts to treat him.
This is the part where you need to make your mind up for yourselves. Do you think that a hedgehog festooned with 26 tags, all of them at least six times longer than its spines, and a radio transmitter the size of a matchbox bearing – if you look at the picture – an antenna which appears to be approximately the same length as the animal itself, is going to be adversely affected?
Or do these two quotes convince you otherwise?
Hugh Warwick from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, which part-funded the study, said: “Over 30 years of work there is no evidence that our research interferes with the well-being of hedgehogs at all.
“The heat-shrink plastic tags that are now the standard marking technique do not require plastic to be melted onto the spines and cause the hedgehog no trouble at all. It is not far off humans getting hair-extensions.”
Nottingham Trent University said: “The animal is completely unhindered and able to go about its activities – such as feeding and breeding – in the usual way.
“Research is crucial to furthering our understanding of the threats hedgehogs face and to develop appropriate responses to those.”
Hugh Warwick is clearly one of those pseudo-scientists who likes to anthropomorphise things. However, I think it is safe to say that what was done to this hedgehog had f__k all to do with human hair extensions (which, incidentally, cause MAJOR problems for humans if done incorrectly).
And Trent University – who are clearly too embarrassed to identify the cretin of a “researcher” responsible – have managed one of those brilliant paradoxes. They say they want to further their understanding of “threats to hedgehogs”. Obviously by becoming one.