Zeppelin the 'beach ball' hedgehog released back to the wild

Image source, Scottish SPCA
Image caption,
Home again: Zeppelin is now back in the wild

A hedgehog which blew up to the size of a beach ball after developing "balloon syndrome" is back in the wild.

Zeppelin has been returned to his natural environment after 253 days at the Scottish SPCA rescue centre in Fishcross, Clackmannanshire.

The charity was called to help in July 2017 after Zeppelin was spotted by a member of the public.

He measured 30 inches in circumference, which vets believed was due to being injured by a car.

Colin Seddon, national wildlife rescue centre manager said: "Zeppelin has been recovering at our National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross for the past 253 days.

"Zeppelin suffered from 'balloon syndrome'. It's likely that he was clipped by a car, puncturing a lung and causing air to become trapped under his skin.

"He's certainly one of the largest hedgehogs we've taken into our care, with a circumference of 30 inches."

Image source, Scottish SPCA
Image caption,
Zeppelin's circumference was 30 inches when he was found
Image source, Scottish SPCA
Image caption,
Zeppelin blew up to the size of a beach ball

Vets released him and other hedgehogs in Perthshire over the Easter weekend after he received treatment to allow excess air to escape from his body.

Mr Seddon added: "Zeppelin had a difficult time recovering, the hole we made in his skin kept healing faster than his punctured lung, we had to put plastic in with his spines to ensure the excess air could escape as the poor guy kept re-inflating."

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