A hedgehog attacked by a group of boys in Scunthorpe suffered injuries so serious it had to be put to sleep.
Humberside Police said the animal was attacked in the Grange Lane South area of the town and they are now looking into the circumstances of the incident.
According to Andrew’s Hedgehog Hospital based in Appleby near Scunthorpe, it happened during the afternoon of Monday, October 12 and the hedgehog suffered damage to its head and internal injuries, as well as losing an eye.
A statement from the force said: “Specialist wildlife crime officers are investigating reports that a group of boys in Scunthorpe attacked a hedgehog, causing injuries so horrific it had to be put to sleep.
“It’s understood that the animal was attacked in the Grange Lane South area of the town and while we have not been contacted by anyone who directly witnessed the incident, we have been made aware of posts on social media and are looking into the circumstances.
“We appreciate that people will be distressed and angry about what has reportedly happened but ask that they do not publically speculate on who may involved.”
Anyone with information to assist in establishing the circumstances and who is responsible should contact police on 101 quoting log number 67 of October 13.
Andrew’s Hedgehog Hospital vented its anger at the situation on social media, saying: “If anyone who lives in the vicinity of Grange Lane South and saw some young people kicking a hedgehog around please contact us.
“Hedgehogs are not footballs, netballs, objects to be poked with sticks, kicked, set fire to or throw around and as such these actions causing unnecessary suffering to an animal are subject to prosecution.
“Its face was smashed in, its jaw broken, both eyes out, bones sticking out and massive internal bleeding and it was in terrible pain.”