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Rare blonde hedgehog rescued and nursed back to health

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image copyrightWiltshire Wildlife Hospital
image captionThe unusual youngster, which was probably born in October, weighed just 335g when it was admitted to the rescue centre last week.

A rare blond hedgehog has been rescued after being found wandering around a village.

The unusual youngster, described as a "little blonde bombshell", was spotted in Heddington on Boxing Day and taken to the Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital.

Care supervisor Marilyn Korkis, said the underweight hog was half the weight it should be at this time of year.

She said: "Last year we dealt with 1,500 hedgehogs but it is rare to see an albino or blonde one."

The youngster, which was probably born in October, weighed just 335g when it was admitted to the rescue centre.

Mrs Korkis said it should weigh at least 600g at this time of year.

"Sensible hedgehogs should also be nestled down and hibernating at the moment," she said.

"This one was found wandering about in the day which sets alarm bells ringing."

'Rather beautiful'

She said the "rather beautiful" hog, which does not have a name as staff never name wild animals, was classed as "blonde rather than albino" as it has "dark not red" eyes.

"Blonde hedgehogs are about but you don't see them often," she said.

"At the moment it's eating fine and looks great but it is still early days."

Despite its unusual colour, Mrs Korkis said it should not be more of a target to predators when it is released.

"Hopefully this one will make it through to spring, and will be released back to where it came from," she said.

"But blonde hedgehogs are no more in danger than the normal brown hedgehogs, I don't think. Plus they get dirty pretty quickly."

Blonde or leucistic hedgehogs are usually only found on Alderney in the Channel Islands where they became common after a pair were released in the 1960s.

Their creamy-coloured spines are caused by a rare recessive gene.

Related Topics

  • Wildlife
  • Hedgehogs

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