The Hedgehog

Most of the millennials have never seen a Hedgehog…….hard to believe but true.

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A hedgehog is a spiny mammal. There are no hedgehogs native to Australia or America. Hedgehogs are easily recognizable by their hollow hair spines, made stiff with keratin. Their spines are not poisonous or barbed. Hedgehogs are fairly vocal and communicate through grunts, snuffles or squeals. Their life span is 4-7 years in the wild and in captivity, some as long as 8-10 years. It is illegal in some US states to own a hedgehog. In Britain it is illegal to own a pet hedgehog.

The typical hedgehog is about the size of a guinea pig. Hedgehogs are not rodents, they are curious and they can be cuddly, but you must handle them every day. They are nocturnal.

I have always thought about getting one as a pet, but I would have to order it from a petstore or a private breeder, and the thought of putting it in a cage or box for its life is not very appealing to me.

I have a small hedgehog collection (inanimate), also have a gorgeous hedgehog brooch; my partner knows how much I love them and surprised me with this keepsake one Christmas morning. I cherish it and wear it often.

hedgehog-pin

Christmas Hedgehog, Made in Germany

Christmas Hedgehog,
Made in Germany

DSC_0005  hedgehog  branch

Hand Puppet Hedgehog

Hand Puppet Hedgehog

Baby Hedgehog

Baby Hedgehog

Ceramic hedgehogs Made in England

Ceramic hedgehogs
Made in England

In Britain this sweet animal used to practically be a staple of the English garden.   But in Britain they are in a desperate state. The numbers have gone precipitously down from about 30,000,000 in the 50s and now down to the last million. There is a grassroots effort afoot and the Hedgehog Street campaign has been organized by the British PTES (Peoples Trust for Endangered Species) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

Please read, How to Save a Hedgehog – A Hero’s Guide, “Mrs.Tiggly-Winkle is under threat, her numbers are down to a million.  People are fighting back”, says Damian Whitworth, Wednesday May 20, 2015 THE TIMES.

Another article to read: Forget Patagonian tooth fish, hedgehogs need our help, by Simon Kelner

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