“We have treated close to 1,000 hedgehogs since we started 2 years ago.”

Name: Adila Hiam
Born: 1974
Place of birth: Karachi, Pakistan
Do: Founder / Owner of Can Hog

Tell us how & why you started Can Hog.
I was raised in the UK, then moved to Africa in 1993 where we owned a horse ranch. My Mum lived in Ibiza and we moved here in 2013 when she became ill. After Mum passed away, we sold everything in Africa and stayed in Ibiza. I started Can Hog because so many sick and injured hedgehogs were getting found by people and they didn’t know where to take them. People would tag me on Facebook because in the past I had found quite a few ailing babies and had raised and released them. The vets here have enough work without dealing with hedgehogs, so they were more than happy to pass them over to me. I took a course in basic medical care for hedgehogs back in the UK at Vale Wildlife Hospital (yes there is actually a course for this.) This was the start of my journey with the hogs and it just snowballed. It started out as a bit of a joke, with me not really thinking anyone would take Can Hog seriously, but it connected with people and now I am overwhelmed with the amount of intakes…and they keep on coming in. I would say we have treated close to 1,000 hedgehogs since we started 2 years ago.

What is it about hedgehogs?
The reason I do this is because I love working with wildlife. To be honest it would be sloths or aardvarks if we had them in Ibiza but we don’t. We have hedgehogs and they are the cutest magical little creatures that get a really rough deal. Also, I want to give something back to the island that I am lucky enough to live on.

If you weren’t nursing the spiky ones back to health, what would you be doing with yourself?
I would be going on a lot more day trips to Barcelona or Valencia. I would go to Primark and get myself some new clothes and possibly a new pair of trainers to replace my seriously holey ones! However, I chose this path and the spiky critters need me, so day trips will have to wait. I dream of one day having an empty shed because all the hedgehogs on the island will have plenty of cat biscuits and fresh water so that they don’t feel the need to walk onto busy roads and won’t get ill from eating food like slugs that make them so sick. I hope to get help from the Consell one day; I’d like proper funding. Some more volunteers would be nice too.

Tell us about the humans in your life.
I live with John my husband and my 8 year old son Danny. My brother, sister in law Yvette and my 2 nieces live next door, literally right on my doorstep. Our house is a hub where friends drop in.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a vet when i was younger, but at the time I wasn’t academic enough to have much hope. This is the closest I’ve got.

Where do you go with friends on the island?
We go out locally to cheap restaurants and beach picnics. I hate clubs; I cant be around hundreds of people in a small space. Africa does that to you – space becomes important.