As you may know, we’re big fans of hedgehogs at Ducky Zebra. So much so, they keep appearing on the designs of our clothes. So, in celebration of International Hedgehog Day, we uncover 10 hedgehog facts for little adventurers with curious minds:
- Lots of variety: There are over 17 different species of hedgehog worldwide, including the desert hedgehog, long-eared hedgehog and the European hedgehog, which is the type you’ll find in the UK.
- Quickly independent: Baby hedgehogs, known as hoglets, are born blind with soft spines that harden as they grow. They’re looked after by their mother until they’re old enough to venture out on their own, which is usually after just a few weeks.
- Prickly protection: Hedgehogs are covered in spiky quills, which act like a natural suit of armour. When they feel threatened they curl up into a ball, creating a spiky fortress to protect them from predators.
- Nighttime explorers: Hedgehogs are nocturnal, which means they love to explore and play during the nighttime. While we're getting ready for bed, they’re just beginning their nightly adventures.
- Snug as a hedgehog: In the cold winter months hedgehogs hibernate to conserve their energy. They find a cosy spot, curl up, and take a long winter nap. They usually emerge from hibernation in March or April, as the weather gets warmer.
- Tiny Gardeners: Hedgehogs are excellent helpers in the garden, as they munch on all sorts of bugs and insects, which might harm our plants. We love the thought of hedgehogs as tiny gardeners, and have used this as inspiration for one of our designs. Can you guess which one?
- Super Sniffers: Did you know that hedgehogs have an incredible sense of smell? Their noses help them sniff out tasty treats like insects, worms, and even some fruits and mushrooms. It's like having a built-in treasure detector!
- Noisy Eaters: Listen closely, and you might hear hedgehogs munching away. They make a funny snuffling sound while enjoying their meals.
- Friendly Visitors: Hedgehogs are known to visit gardens, and they might even become a frequent visitor if you leave out some hedgehog-friendly food, like cat biscuits or mealworms.
- Quill Climbers: Did you know hedgehogs are excellent climbers? They use their strong legs and sharp claws to climb small obstacles. Sometimes, they even climb trees or shrubs to explore their surroundings.
How can we help hedgehogs?
The UK has seen a decline in hedgehog numbers, due to habitat loss and other threats. Here are a few things you can do to help protect them:
- Create hedgehog-friendly spaces in your garden with piles of leaves or a small hedgehog house.
- Avoid using pesticides in your garden to keep it safe for hedgehogs and their insect snacks.
- Ensure there's a shallow bowl of water available for hedgehogs to drink.
- Spread the hedgehog love by telling your friends and family about these fantastic creatures.
By being hedgehog heroes, we can make the world a better place for our spiky friends. Happy International Hedgehog Day, everyone!
Have you got any other hedgehog facts? If so, we’d love to hear them. Pop them in the comments below.