- Explorer Moments
How a Lowly Hedgehog Raised the Bar on Wildlife Care
Before his death in July, former accountant Les Stocker changed the way we deal with injured animals in the wild.
Les Stocker’s life was inextricably altered in 1976, when he stumbled on an injured hedgehog near his home. Unable to get it help from a local veterinarian, who offered to put it to sleep, Stocker took the little animal home and tended to it himself.
It was the beginning of a 40-year journey that would transform the Brit’s mundane life as an accountant. Before his untimely death from an abdominal aortic aneurism last July, Stocker, 73, had become a world-renowned wildlife treatment expert and had created Europe’s first wildlife teaching hospital, Tiggywinkles.
Although he lacked formal veterinary training, Stocker pioneered wildlife medical care at a time when traditional veterinary medicine focused on treating domesticated animals and pets.
An injured wild animal “had