SOS RICCI ONLUS, Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, acknowledged by the Province of Reggio Emilia, specialized in the rehabilitation of the hedgehog, was born from the (chance?!) encounter with a tiny orphan hedgehog by the side of a road of our province.
After a training period at the Centro Cura Ricci in Maggia, in the Italian Switzerland, Marina, head of the group, and other members have started the rehabilitation of this protected wild animal.
At the beginning the activity of the centre mainly focused on taking care of and bringing back to nature orphan, injured, or ill animals; later on, it became clear that in the end this kind of work run the risk of being just a useless drop (although a “good samaritan” work) lost in a wider ocean of environmental needs. Therefore, our aim became more ambitious.
Together with the rehabilitation of animals in need, we carry out an activity of education to environmental knowledge, awareness and respect of nature, where the hedgehog has become a sort of bioindicator for environmental quality (evaluation of the effects of toxicant and environmental poisons, both direct and indirect, evaluation of changes in the ecosystem brought along by areas for separately collected waste, bounded by roads and especially motorways, changes in the food chains...).
In order to fulfill these aims, SOS RICCI is supported by local and national press (which has always shown a very positive attitude), television (programs broadcasted at popular viewing times), radio (with short, simple weekly broadcasts within popular programs), stands at fairs and public events; and last but not least, we have published a scientific but easy-to-read book about the hedgehog, as well as a website.
This widespread activity has had a totally unexpected outcome: a huge request for advice from many parts of Italy and, most of all, the arrival of animals. This put the existing centre under a big pressure and prompted further committment and activities.
At present, our seat is located in the reclamation area Terre dei Gonzaga destra PO, in Reggiolo (RE), with a wooded park of about 6000 m˛, a two-storey building with a total surface of about 130 m˛, and an attached cottage of 60 m˛.
At present, the building consists of 2 areas for hedgehogs, one area for chiropters, a surgery- reception ward, a studio/guestroom, a toilet, a dinette kitchen, a storehouse.
are completing a protected tunnel in the park, 10x4 m, for the
rehabilitation of chiropters until they can fly again.
In the year 2009 we carried out researches in the fields of ecology, pathology, behaviour and toxicology, as well as an important rehabilitation activity.
At the same
time we keep on carrying out awareness and information activities within
different cultural contexts, aimed at widening our cooperations with the
university world and with animal lovers.