Humberside

Stephen the hedgehog found safe and well

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

The owners of a blind hedgehog - who feared they would never see their prickly pal again - have hailed his return as a "miracle".

Frank and Veronica Tett made a desperate plea to trace Stephen after a van with him inside was stolen.

The couple, who run a hedgehog hospital, had said their hopes of finding Stephen alive were fading.

But on Wednesday night they announced: "A miracle has happened. Stephen has been found fit and well."

They said the animal was now back home and was getting settled after five days away.

The couple had posted several updates on the Andrew's Hedgehog Hospital Facebook page asking people to look out for a light grey-coloured cat carrier.

It was inside the van which was taken from Albion Place, Leeds, on Saturday morning.

'Ran towards my voice'

Mr Tett said they received a call from a couple who spotted Stephen's carrier as they walked their dog in the Middleton area of the city.

When they checked, Stephen was still inside.

"My wife answered the call and just burst into tears. We had both come to the realisation that he was probably dead," Mr Tett said.

"I just can't believe it. Miracles really do happen.

"I think he had been watered and fed a bit because he was not starving when we collected him.

"As soon as he heard my voice he came straight to the front of the carrier box and put his nose in the air."

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

Stephen has been in their care since he was brought to them in June.

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