Tyne & Wear

Albino hedgehogs rescued in Northumberland

Albino hedgehogs Image copyright PA
Image caption Mrs Catchpole does not think Albie and Tughall are related

Two rare albino hedgehogs have been rescued in Northumberland.

The animals were dropped off at Carole Catchpole's home in Longframlington within one month of each other.

Mrs Catchpole, who set up the Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust in 1998, said it was "amazing" to see two in such a short time after never seeing one in her 16 years of caring for them.

She says she is now caring for Tughall and Albie until they are healthy enough to be released back into the wild.

Mrs Catchpole cares for nearly 400 of the animals every year, but has never seen an albino one.

The hedgehog-lover said she was taking advice on whether they can survive in the wild or if their unusual colouring makes them "less able to thrive".

Mrs Catchpole said: "He [Albie] is roughly the same weight as Tughall so we are just building them up until they are a suitable release weight.

"They need to be somewhere we know they are going to be safe and no member of the public will find them.

"We have to be very careful we do the right thing."

Although Albie and Tughall were found in such a short space of time, Mrs Catchpole does not think they are related as they were found 13 miles (20km) apart, a "considerable distance" for hedgehogs.

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