A rare blonde hedgehog who found itself in a somewhat prickly situation has been given a second chance at life.
The unique critter, described as a “little blonde bombshell” and named Boris, was spotted in Heddington, a village in England. He was dangerously underweight and in desperate need of a little TLC. Luckily, Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital in Newton Tony reached out to assist.
According to care supervisor Marilyn Korkis, the hedgehog – which was likely born in October last year – was just half the weight it should be at this time of year.
“Last year, we dealt with 1,500 hedgehogs, but it is rare to see an albino or blonde one. Sensible hedgehogs should also be nestled down and hibernating at the moment. This one was found wandering about in the day, which sets alarm bells ringing,” Korkis says, adding how this little guy should have weighed at least 600 grams (1.3 lb) but just tipped the scales at 335 grams (0.7 lb).
Boris – classed as blonde rather than albino as it has dark, not red eyes – will hopefully regain his strength and be released back to where he came from.
The rescue follows another rare blonde hedgehog who was found “severely ill and covered in diarrhea” in May 2017.
The hog, named Burt, was admitted to the Secret World Wildlife Rescue and treated for ringworm and various other health ailments. Fortunately, he responded well to his treatment and has since been released.
Blonde (or leucistic) hedgehogs are usually only found on Alderney in the Channel Islands, where they became common after a pair was released in the 1960s. A rare recessive gene causes their creamy-colored spines.