Harold’s face was covered in the white stuff after he tucked into the sweet treat
A hedgehog had to be rescued after being spotted walking across a road with its head caught in a McFlurry lid.
Harold the hedgehog was taken to Larkmead Vets in Didcot, Oxfordshire, by a member of the public after he got stuck while enjoying the ice cream.
His face was covered in the white stuff after he tucked into the sweet treat.
He escaped with an abrasion to his neck but veterinary nurse Poppy Jackson warned the consequences could have been a lot worse and urged people to think twice before dropping litter.
McDonald’s was forced to change the shape of its McFlurry lid in 2009 after pressure from campaigners.
Ms Jackson, 24, said the juvenile hedgehog was found trying to cross a road in Didcot at the end of October.
She said: ‘He could not see very well because of the lid.
‘I managed to cut down the side of it with some scissors but the problem with hedgehogs is they curl up when they are scared so at first we could not see if he had any wounds.
‘Every time we tried to look to see if he had a cut on his neck he curled up.
‘He had ice cream all over his face. I’m sure he had a great time and would do it again.
‘He did have some cuts so we cleaned him up with anti-septic to prevent him getting an infection.
‘It was not serious. We did not need to stitch it up this time but the injuries could have been worse.
‘If he would have been stuck for a lot longer it could have cut into his skin and if he would have struggled to get out that could have made it worse.
‘One of the vets took him home to monitor him and then he was released back into the wild near where he was found.
‘I have never seen a hedgehog in a McFlurry before but have had them stuck in other rubbish – mostly crisp packets or Pringle boxes.
‘It is difficult to get them out because of the spikes.’
Ms Jackson warned people to be more mindful or hedgehog’s habitats and put their rubbish in the bin.
Harold (left) escaped with an abrasion to his neck but veterinary nurse Poppy Jackson (right) warned the consequences could have been a lot worse and urged people to think twice before dropping litter
She said: ‘I know McDonald’s has changed the lid but in this case it did not work. I don’t know what they used to be like but this one had a small hole so he could get his head in because the spikes fall backwards but he was unable to get back out.
‘He had a lot of ice cream on his face and he was trying to lick it off. I think he was still bathing in ice-cream glory when he came in but he was not happy when we tried to take it off.
‘He was quite determined to get the last bit of ice cream off.’
Ms Jackson, who admits to having a soft spot for the spiky creatures, said because of the time of year they are getting around two a week brought in for various reasons.
She said: ‘Other vets and wildlife centres are in the same position. A lot of staff are taking them home to keep them warm.
‘They are young and just coming out. It is for things like getting hit by cars, getting attacked by other animals or getting stuck in things like crisp or Pringle packets.’
CEO of British Hedgehog Preservation Society Fay Vass said: ‘We campaigned for a number of years to get McDonald’s to change the style of the lid.
‘Hopefully this is a one off old-style lid that’s been found by this poor hedgehog.
‘We’ve had no other reports of hedgehogs getting caught, if it’s a new one it is a worry.
‘Our advice would be the same as with any litter – bin it instead of dropping it on the floor.
‘If anyone does find a hedgehog stuck in one of these lids please try and keep the lid, get a photo of it and get in touch with us.’
Ms Jackson, 24, said the juvenile hedgehog was found trying to cross a road in Didcot at the end of October
A spokesman for McDonald’s said: ‘We’d like to reassure our customers that we take the environment very seriously.
‘When first informed of this issue over ten years ago we worked with our suppliers and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to redesign a new lid for the McFlurry, with a smaller opening.
‘The smaller aperture of the lid has been designed to prevent hedgehogs from entering the McFlurry container in the unfortunate incidence that a lid is littered and is then accessible to wildlife.
‘Our internal research shows this has had a significant positive impact and the design has not changed since this redesign.
‘Of course we encourage our customers to dispose of their litter responsibly to try and avoid the issue in the first place.
‘We take pride in the appearance of our restaurants and local communities and we have an extensive litter management programme to encourage our customers to dispose of their waste responsibly and to maximise customer recycling.
‘It is our company policy to conduct three daily litter patrols whereby members of staff will go out and pick up not only McDonald’s packaging, but also any other litter that has been irresponsibly discarded.’