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Bald Baby Hedgehogs Rescued After They Were Born Without Any Spines
Spineless (Picture: Ceri Oakes/Glen Minikin)
February 5th, 2018 | 09:52 AM | 1017 views
Hedgehogs are famous for their spines, so these two little ones are probably having an identity crisis.
In a rare quirk Charlie and Snoopy were born bald, a condition thought to be brought about by a zinc deficiency.
All they had were a few little stumps on their backs that offered no protection at all when they rolled into a ball.
They would be easy prey for a fox or owl – so it was lucky that they were spotted on the street in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, and taken to Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary.
Iron supplements are being added to their catfood biscuits in the hope their spines will grow, but if not they’ll have protection from the sanctuary for the rest of their lives.
Alexandra Farmer, now looking after them, said: ‘It’s a very rare condition caused by a zinc deficiency and we think in the case of these two little guys baldness is also a family issue.
‘They’re clearly related because they were found wandering qyuite close together oblivious to the added danger they were in with no spines.’
‘They had just left their nest so we started a search to see whether we could find the rest of the litter but we couldn’t, so if they had brothers and sisters we were left fearing the worst for them.
‘But these two got lucky and were brought to us where we’ve been looking after them. They are easy prey to predators but at least the staff here can give them a hug.
‘Through the winter months they’ll be kept inside and when spring comes we’ll let them out – but they won’t be able to roam far.
‘It means we’ll keep a watchful eye on them at all times – they don’t have their own protection so we’ll have to do it for them!’
courtesy of METRO
by Jen Mills
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