On 29 June in Thornhill Road, Castleford, West Yorkshire two boys kicked a baby hedgehog and a girl poured water over it.

The hoglet was rushed to a rescue centre by a horrified member of the public but sadly its injuries were too great, and it died.

Fay Vass, Chief Executive of The British Hedgehog Preservation Society said: “This is a cowardly and sickening act. The pain and fear the poor hedgehog must have gone through is heart breaking.

"We thank Castleford Hedgehog Rescue for all their efforts to save this little one and the Police for acting so quickly, we urge anyone with information about the attack to report it immediately.”

If you saw the incident on the 29 June or have heard who the culprits might be, please call the police on 101 quoting crime number 13190340664. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society is offering a reward of £1,000 to anyone supplying information that leads to a successful prosecution of those responsible.

A spokesperson for Castleford Hedgehog Rescue said “When the hoglet arrived we were told the story and our hearts sank, we couldn't believe what we were hearing, this poor innocent little baby was being drowned and kicked to death by these three kids and being so close to our rescue we battled so hard to keep her going but she passed away.”

Hedgehogs have been voted the UK’s favourite mammal, but numbers are in decline, a third have been lost from urban areas and half from rural areas since the year 2000.