Biodiversity Nepal
For the Future Generation

A 6 year old saves rare albino hedgehog

His mother helped coax out the little creature, which had hidden under a car in Otley, West Yorkshire

Prickly Pigs Hedgehog Rescue said that hedgehogs out in the day usually need help straight away. Image copyright DAN KNIGHT
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A six-year-old boy came to the rescue of a rare albino hedgehog which was near death when he spotted it in the middle of the road.

Ruben Wiggins realised the unusual hedgehog should not be out during the daytime and needed help.

Despite their distinctive colouring, albino hedgehogs can survive in the wild providing they are not too clean. Photo by : PRICKLY PIGS HEDGEHOG RESCUE

His mother helped coax out the little creature, which had hidden under a car in Otley, West Yorkshire.

The animal, since named Jack Frost, was taken to Prickly Pigs Hedgehog Rescue and found to be “at death’s door”.

Diane Cook, who runs the organisation, said: “When we received the message through our Facebook page we were initially puzzled by the description and thought it was perhaps a pet African Pigmy Hedgehog that had escaped someone’s home.

“When Ruben arrived with his father, we were taken back by this tiny white spiky ball with a pink nose and eyes, a true albino hedgehog.”

Ruben was waiting for his dad Jeff on 29 July when he spotted the hedgehog “wobbling in the middle of the road” at about 17:00 BST.

When Jack Frost was examined he was found to be severely dehydrated, malnourished and infested with ticks, fleas and fly eggs which took hours to remove.

He has been hand-fed and treated for internal parasites and will eventually be released back into the wild.

Wildlife biologist Dr Toni Bunnell, who has treated albino hedgehogs in the past, said they survive well in the wild.

She said: “Although it might be thought that the light colouration would make them more visible to predators, this is not, in fact, the case.

Albino hedgehogs can be identified by their red eyes and spines and fur which are white or creamy in colour. Image copyright Dan Knight

“After only a few days in the wild, the coat of the albino becomes dirty and serves as camouflage.”

Published from bbc.com

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