A little hedgehog

Last May we were woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of a porcelain catfood dish being pushed over the paved driveway that we share with our neighbour. It turned out to be a hedgehog.

Since then it has been visiting regularly – actually, I think there are two hedgehogs regularly. They always come at dusk, and they seem to just love catfood. They will crunch noisily on the dry food or gobble up wet food with lots of grunting and snorting.

On Tuesday night we saw a tiny hedgehog actually sitting inside the bowl while eating the cat food. It was really cute, but its small size seems a bit worrying because it’s much too small and light to survive the winter. This afternoon it came back to visit in broad daylight while the neighbour and I were chatting outside, and we were both surprised because they are nocturnal and rarely seen before dusk. We fed it some catfood and watched the little guy walking back and forth on the driveway, always sniffing for food but not finishing what was right in front of its nose.

It turns out that at least two of our other neighbours know the little hedgehog as well. Apparently it’s been wandering around on our street in broad daylight, sometimes looking for food but today just lying there, looking very weak. One of the other neighbours gave it some catfood as well, and after that it walked over into our garden.

A little later in the afternoon the hedgehog was once again sitting in the food bowl and eating and was looking a little more perky. The neighbour’s cat and I followed it around a bit until we lost it in a hedge a few houses down the street.

I’m sure that a lot of people are now keeping an eye out for the little hedgehog, but it’s still going to be hard for it to gain enough weight in time for hibernation…

Here it is, with some of the catfood for scale; it’s about 10cm long and weighs about 100g – that would be around 4 inches and 3.5 ounces.

As usual, click for a larger version. André also posted a photo of the little hedgehog.