A Crusty Blonde Hedgehog!
14th June 2018 at 9:33 am #9926
I have a bit of a passion for antique and junk shops and last weekend I was hunting them down in a small town in Suffolk. In a dark corner of one such emporium, high up on a cabinet filled with the macabre skeletal remains of an array of different animals, was a glass case containing a small stuffed hedgehog. But this was no ordinary hedgehog, it was what I believe to be a blonde hedgehog. This decaying and moth eaten Victorian relic was in a sorry state and it was difficult to work out what insects were part of the original display and which were unfortunate later additions. Part of me wanted to take this poor, crusty ball of honey coloured prickles home, but a disapproving look from my other half told me that this was a step too far. Preferring to gaze upon live hedgehogs rather than long since dead and infested ones, I couldn’t disagree and we left the shop empty handed. Several days on and I can’t get this hedgehog out of my mind, I didn’t even take a photograph. In these modern times where a camera phone seems to be part of the anatomy of every person under the age of thirty and every minute of the day documented online, I can’t believe I missed such a great opportunity…not even a holiday snap of such a rare creature.18th June 2018 at 3:18 pm #9996
interesting – but I can understand why your husband wasn’t keen to bring it home with you!
Do you think it was blonde through bleached effect of ageing or a ‘natural blonde’?
There is supposed to be a small population on one of our very own Channel Islands that have a recessive gene for blonde colouration – but they weren’t indigenous I understand, they were brought over as pets and either escaped (knowing hogs) or were released and inbred the colouration.
Perhaps your sighting was one of those poor little fellas?19th June 2018 at 12:45 pm #10005
Definitely a natural blonde, although I didn’t get a proper look at its face. It was high up on a shelf and if I had asked the proprietor to fetch it down, I would have felt obliged to purchase the poor thing. Having only just managed to persuade my reluctant shopper of a husband to set foot through the door, I thought better of it. I really could kick myself for not taking a photo; I still haven’t got used to the fact that phones have cameras on them these days…or is it that cameras have phones attached to them! Anyway, from what I could see, it was a small hedgehog compared to our motley bunch and it had very short honey coloured spines and skin.
It’s a sad thought, but if the latest Mammal Society estimated figures of 522,000 are correct, down 66% from a similar hedgehog survey in 1995, I can’t help thinking that the only hedgehogs that future generations will see are those in zoos or those pickled in formaldehyde! 🙁19th June 2018 at 1:14 pm #10006
I share your sadness on that. It would seem completely unacceptable that we see them disappear as a species in our lifetime and more needs to be done to prevent it.
I had a little look up on the blonde hedgehogs – and was fascinated to read that up to 60% of the hedgehogs on Alderney in the Channel Islands are in fact blonde as they carry a recessive gene. They aren’t albinos though as they have dark eyes – and are known as Leucistic as they lack the skin pigmentation that would make them dark.
Alderney also has a very stable population of hedgehogs – reasons given being that they dont have any natural predators (badgers) or terrorisers (foxes), the roads and use of, are reduced and slower. The Alderney locals are understandably very proud of their blonde hedgehogs and a greater proportion look after them by offering food and water, making them slightly bolder and less likely to run away from human contact. sounds like hoggy heaven!
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