The Hedgehog Factor

Victoria , here.  Was it my childhood love for Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle?

Or just because they are so darn cute?

 Whatever the reason, I love hedgehogs, and over the years, I have collected quite a few. Not real ones, of course. Real ones are increasingly endangered, while those on my shelves are sitting pretty.

Maybe one of the sources of my love for hedgehogs comes from my admiration for the British hedgerow, which gives the countryside so much character. Yet, these are also in danger.

picture from the NLS: National Hedgelaying Society

I was quite appalled at reading — in a recent issue of Country Life  — about the urgency of the need for protecting hedgehog habitats in Britain and developing new ones, perhaps in urban gardens.  As usual with vanishing wildlife, we have met the culprit, and he is us, encroaching humans and our urge to pave over everything.  Along with loss of habitat, cars and pesticides endanger hedgehogs.

The source for  more information is here.   Hedgehogs are not native to North America, which makes them all the more interesting — and a bit exotic.

As I was surfing the internet, I found several websites offering hedgehogs as pets.  Though I know some people like to tame wild animals, I am not so sure that living in a cage would be very comfortable for a hedgehog. On the other hand, keeping one in the garden might be quite fun. Actually a pair might be more agreeable to the little creatures.

As an example of ideal adaptation, I cannot imagine anything better than a hedgehog.  They eat insects and small animals such as frogs, as well as vegetation.  Once I played with a baby hedgehog in Greece, feeding it bits of lettuce and tomato. But generally, hedgehogs are nocturnal, so if you want them around in the daytime, I highly recommend the kind I collect: made of wood, ceramic, brass, or fabric. 

Whatever the material, they always make me smile.

3 thoughts on “The Hedgehog Factor”

  1. My daughter has them in her garden. Yes, they are endangered — and there is even a hospital for hedgehogs! Contact Margaret Evans Porter — another hedgehog fan — for more information on that hospital and the association.

  2. How awful they are endangered! I had a pair of hedgehogs as pets for many years. Pins and Needles and eventually had their two children as well – Snow White (born an albino hedgehog) and Grumpy (because he was extremely grumpy ALL the time!)All told I shared my house and yard (they had an indoor/outdoor sort of habitat via a tiny doggie door) with hedgehogs for almost fifteen years. They've gone on to the English garden in the sky, but they were lovely members of the family and I have a nice collection of fake hedgehogs now to remind me of them.

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