3 links celebrating garden-dwelling hedgehogs

May 7 |
Acorn
Photo by Justin and Elise. Used under Creative Commons license.

I am endlessly jealous of those of you who live in the magical land where hedgehogs are native and common in gardens. All I have is possums!

possum
Photo by paparutzi. Used under Creative Commons license.

Look at this shit. This is the beast that snuffles past my door at night to rummage through my compost leavings. My particular possum is HUGE and waddling — at least 25 pounds of wiry gray hair and teeth and little beady eyes.

Fuck possums, guys. Let's celebrate the cuter, sweeter, only-mildly-prickly and never-hiss-filled hedgehogs. I dug up some hedgehog love to noodle on.

Ready! Set! Go!

1. So if you have hedgehogs in your garden, what do they do all night? If you've got an infrared camera, you can track them!

2. How do you create an outdoor space a hedgehog will want to move into? Gardening with Children has a full list on hedgehog boons, dangers, and ways to up your chances of getting a prickly new neighbor.

3. Finally, are you one of the lucky ones living in native hedgehog habitat, but you find yourself hedgehogless? Do you have an enclosed garden that is woefully under-hedgehogged? Did you know that a UK hedgehog rescue is looking for safe spaces to which they can rehome little spiky dudes? TRUTH! There might be a little three-legged hedgehog waiting to come live under your care.

Photo courtesy British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

  1. adorable!! We don't have hedgehogs either, but they're so CUTE! We do have ground squirrels and hummingbirds and goldfinches and deer and foxes, so I feel pretty blessed in the pretty wildlife department, but hedgehogs! The cuteness!

  2. We have wombats, roos, sugar gliders, possums, lyrebirds, kookaburras, frogs…well a whole bunch of critters at the bush house. When I was a kid I remember seeing echidnas a couple of times. They're sort of like a hedgehog only much pricklier. I haven't seen any out there in a while though.

    In the yard in Massachusetts I've heard coyotes and see chipmunks and squirrels all of which still holds its novelty value. I'm really hoping I might discover a hedgehog. That would be all kinds of awesome!

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  3. Thanks for this post – I owned a pet hedgehog for years and stuck with my strange pet even when I developed a severe allergy to him. Now that he's died, I know I can't have another, but I daydream about living in a place where wild hedgies visit and snuffle about in my garden. If anyone is thinking about adopting one for a pet OR having a rescued wild hedgie live in their garden, you should GO FOR IT!

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  4. I have a pet hedgehog. Her name is Nestle, and she is adorable. She is an African Pygmy White-Bellied Hedgehog, which means that she looks like the one in the header, not the European hedgehogs in the last picture. I love her very much, but I am afraid she does a lot of snuffling and hissing too. She's my sweety prickle-face.

    Depending on where you live, you could have a pet hedgehog too. Hedgehogcentral.com has loads of info about acquiring and caring for hedgehogs. This link is a list of breeders in the US by state. http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/breederusa.shtml

    By the way, if you would be interested in running an article on hedgehogs, I could totally do one for you.

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  5. OHMAHGAH HEDGEHOGS.
    /explodes from overload of cute

    (I would love to have a pet hedgeyhog but I am not sure you can get them in Australia and I have enough pets already…but…HEDGEHOGS)

    2 agree
  6. But…. but I LIKE opossums!!! Despite the crazy face the one in the picture has, I think they're cute :)

    1 agrees
    • I like them too! I find both Hedgehogs and opossums to be cute, and opossums are particularly cute when they are using their tails to hang onto something.

        • Yep, my ideas of what constitutes cute can sometimes be considered odd. Sorry that the possum is bothering you, Cat.

        • I'm with Cat. Possums are a noxious pest here in NZ. Kill on sight and all that. Horrible, heavy-footed, roof-banging, hissing things. Blargh! There's one up there now. :(

      • Totally! There's a opossum mama who hangs from her tail in the same tree in my yard pretty reliably (and adorably!)

        The only animals I don't really want in my yard are racoons, and only because they're so entitled about eating my cat's food. Meanies.

  7. My Dad grew up in Frankfurt, Germany and talks about having hedgehogs in his basement. Apparently they'd find ways in to wam up when it got cold. He collects toy hedgehogs now.

  8. Someday, I will have a pet hedgehog. -dreams-
    Am I the only person on earth who thinks that possums are cute? I catch them in my headlights at my parents' house all the time, and I love watching them waddle up the holler in front of my car. XD

    • You are not alone. I place them in the "so ugly they're cute" category. Then again, I GEEK OUT over bats, which some people find abhorrent, so maybe I'm not the best judge either!

      • OH MY GOD I LOVE BATS.
        This place I worked at a couple summers ago had this wooden deck in front, and somebody spilled a little Coke out there. So this wee bitty bat was out there for an afternoon, licking up some pop. And all the women were like EEEK and I was like I AM SO IN LOVE IN THIS MOMENT.

        • Ohhhhhhh. I think I should do a bat house round upppp…

          (also love bats!!)

  9. My FH and I plan on getting a hedgie as a pet once we have a place of our own. We don't live in natural hedgie territory, otherwise I would plan on rescuing a wild one and keep it in my yard. :(
    I'll keep searching the Internet for pet hedgies that need a new home in my area so it'll do just as much good. :)

  10. My mother regularly finds baby hedgehogs (which the British Hedgehog Preservation Society refer to as HOGLETS! OH JESUS THAT'S CUTE) who somehow don't get fat enough to hibernate and just wonder around/pass out from being cold and confused. We take them to an animal hospital who have a hedgehog incubating room for the winter. It made my month when I discovered that room. When they're healthy enough to live outside alone again we go and pick them up.

  11. According to Wikipedia, there are no living native species of hedgehogs in the Americas. *sigh* Unless I move abroad, I will never have a hedgehog in my garden.
    Possibly a porcupine, or woodchuck? hmmm…

    • Woodchucks are pretty cute, particularly the baby ones. One university I studied at had quite a supply of woodchucks and young ones were a regular sight in the spring.

      • Oh yes, cute, but don't try to make friends with a baby woodchuck. Mama woodchucks are MEAN!

    • I would never wish a porcupine upon anyone. Unless it was Teddy.

      1 agrees
  12. i looove opossums!!! they actually make super ossim spoiled pets

  13. I live in hedgehog country and possum country (NZ) and find both adorable, even though possums here are classified as pests and people hunt them! Growing up, we would find many a hedgehog in our backyard, including sick ones (ones wandering lethargicly around in the light) and we would adopt them/feed them with wet cat food and liquids until they got better :) they were all kinds of magical! I live in an apartment now and only see smushed ones on the road :(

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  14. I don't want to drive you mad with jealousy, but when I was a little girl we lived in Austria and I remember going out to the garden once and encountering a mommy hedgehog marching her three baby hedgehogs across the lawn. It is still one of the cutest things I've ever witnessed.

  15. In defense of the opossums, we raised one and she was surprisingly soft and fluffy under that gray fur. She did hiss a lot, but thats only because they can't see, they are mostly blind. She was not graceful, but she was fun. They eat spiders, which in my world makes them a God-send. And, she really loved Arbys….

    Hedgehogs are really really stinking cute too….

    Dont hate on your opossums, they are eating some other (creepier) pests for you!

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