The wild can be a tough place when you’re an orphan baby animal. Without a mother to feed them and show them how to survive, young ones have a  slim-to-no chance at survival. That is unless they get a bit of human intervention. Although many may not think that the life of one tiny baby animal will have an impact in the greater scheme of things, survival is everything to that little animal. So, when we find stories like this, it warms our hearts.

When a little orphan shrew and his brother were discovered in the village of Gifford in East Lothian, Scotland with no mother in sight, kind people did the right thing and contacted the authorities. Both babies ended up under the care of the Scottish SPCA at their National Wildlife Rescue Centre so they could receive immediate treatment. At just 16-days-old, it is a miracle that the baby shrews were found alive, but unfortunately, only one has survived. They named him Hugh — Hugh the shrew. No, names that rhyme aren’t corny … look at how cute he is!


According to Centre manager Colin Seddon, “One of our staff members, Nicola Turnbull, has been rearing Hugh since he came in.”

Taking care of a newborn shrew is no easy task. Hugh needs feeding every two hours during the day and every three hours at night. That’s dedication!

Tiny 16-Day-Old Orphan Shrew Gets Rescued and Ready For Release


Hugh the shrew’s eyes have only just opened and he is currently learning how to feed himself with the help of  Turnbull. Thanks to her dedication, Hugh will never go hungry as he continues to grow stronger and learn what it means to be an independent shrew. Good luck, Hugh!




According to Seddon, “within the next ten days he should be totally independent and he will be able to be released into the wild.” Hugh is doing so well because the person who found him thought to contact the local wildlife center.

As animal lovers, we can understand wanting to help an animal in need, but it is a job best left to the experts. If you ever find an orphaned baby animal or an injured wild animal, please contact your local wildlife center immediately.

All image source: Scottish SPCA