A new display centre for rescued animals called “Hedgehog Hospital” opened this Thursday at Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden.

“A growing number of NGOs engage in the rescue and care of injured animals, and Budapest Zoo also has a decades-long tradition in this area: in 2017 over 1500 small mammals, birds and amphibians were cured here”, – the Minister of State for Environment said at the opening ceremony of the Hedgehog Hospital. “Today, wildlife care is provided in 32 rescue centres operated by the state, local governments or other organisations”, András Rácz added. “There is also a guide published two years ago to help the work of authorities and environmental organisations, while citizens can learn what to do with injured animals at the www.termeszetvedelem.hu website”, the Minister of state said.


Deputy Mayor of Budapest Gábor Bagdy drew attention to the substantial developments in the Zoo in recent years: the Magic Hill has been recently renovated, and in May a huge new playground, the “Once Upon A Time Castle”, was unveiled which is now also home to the Hedgehog Hospital.

Miklós Persányi, the Zoo’s Director-General announced that the Hedgehog Hospital was built within the framework of a joint project realised between the zoos in Budapest and Košice, called ZOO4NAT, funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The HUF 75 million display centre is located within the Once Upon a Time Castle in a building originally designed as a coach house that has been home to the recently moved zoo clinic for a decade. Miklós Persányi said that the Hedgehog Hospital is now open to the public and visitors can view how the injured animals are cured, while in the upstairs educational room they can learn the rules of responsible pet ownership.

Endre Sós, the Zoo’s chief veterinarian recalled that back in 1986 the institution only took care of seven rescued animals, but this number grew to 115 in 1996 and exceeded 2000 in 2016. The institution treats both common species, such as blackbirds, squirrels and hedgehogs, and rare protected ones, such as poisoned eagles.

In addition, the Hedgehog Hospital is also home to several swallows, bats, quails, thrushes, ravens, nightjars, rollers, owls and many other animal species.

(MTI/Ministry of Agriculture)