Humberside

Blind hedgehog stolen in Leeds van theft

Stephen the hedgehog Image copyright Frank Tett
Image caption Stephen was blinded after being sprayed with chemicals

A couple have urged thieves to return their beloved blind hedgehog after a van containing the creature was stolen.

Stephen the hedgehog was inside the vehicle when it was taken from Albion Place in Leeds at about 08:15 BST.

Frank Tett, who runs Andrew's Hedgehog Hospital near Scunthorpe, said: "If he is dumped he could be in real trouble."

Mr Tett and his wife Veronica have been caring for the animal since June when he was brought to them after being sprayed with chemicals.

Mr Tett, 80, had parked his white Vauxhall van outside Barclays Bank and was loading stock for his market stall when it was stolen.

"Stephen was in a cat carrier in the van because I take him with me to the market to raise awareness about the plight of hedgehogs," he said.

"I was gone a matter of minutes and when I turned around the van was gone."

Image copyright Frank Tett
Image caption The couple have turned their home into a hedgehog hospital

Mr Tett added: "We're not bothered about our stock but worried sick about Stephen. Because he's blind he requires special care.

"He's such a good natured little thing and and if he's left on the road or something he won't have a clue what to do."

Mr and Mrs Tett hand-rear and care for hundreds of hedgehogs at their home in Appleby.

The charity is named after another blind hedgehog that the couple once looked after.

They have reported the theft to West Yorkshire Police.

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