Rare blonde hedgehog nursed back to health
They say blondes have more fun but this prickly little character is only just getting back on her feet after weeks of sickness.
The extremely rare blonde hedgehog is the latest admission to the RSPCA's Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire.
Believed to be just a few months old, it was found weak and struggling by a member of the public in Gobowen, Shropshire.
The hedgehog, which is not an albino, weighed just 110g when she was delivered to the rescue centre at the end of July.
Since then she has tripled her weight and should be ready for release in a few weeks when she hits the optimum weight of 600g.
Dr Andrew Kelly, manager of RSPCA in Cheshire, said: "We receive around 600 hedgehogs a year at Stapeley Grange, often orphaned juveniles, but we've never had a blonde hedgehog before.
"They're extremely rare so it's a real delight to have one in our care.
"We've worked hard to get her back to a healthy weight and are thrilled she's responded so well.
"We're looking forward to releasing her in to a safe environment now where she will hopefully continue to thrive."
The hedgehog, which does not have a name as staff never name wild animals, is one of a very small number of blonde hedgehogs to be found in the UK.
They are extremely rare except on the Channel Island of Alderney where they have become common since a pair were released in the 1960s.
Their unusual colouring, caused by a rare recessive gene, means blonde hedgehogs have little chance of survival in the wild as their conspicuous coats often prove attractive to predators such as foxes, badgers and dogs.
She will therefore be released in a specially selected enclosed private garden where she can be fed and monitored.
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Elephants, rhinos and hippos facing extinction, experts warn
Iberian lynx cubs born in the wild bring hope for the world's most endangered feline species
The climate change paradox: Rainforests are being felled... but the world is getting greener
Amazon tribal chief’s SOS: the white man is destroying everything
- 1 Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
- 3 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 4 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
- 5 Chinese theme park sets up 'death simulator' where volunteers can experience being cremated
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...