Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Itchy-scratchy hedgehog


Delighted to find this hedgehog in the garden this morning - the first I've seen here for a couple of years. 




































Hedgehogs are notoriously prone to tick and flea infestations and this one really seemed to be suffering today, stopping several times to have a really good scratch.



























You can see in the two photos above how it uses its hind legs alternately to reach up to the middle of its back and rake through its spines.



































Those long claws must be quite effective for raking out parasites.


















It's certainly not an elegant performance, as you can see from the two photos above. Notice the short, pointed tail - hidden when the animal is on even keel.

I've put a short piece of video of the ungainly grooming performance - click here to watch


4 comments:

  1. Great shots. They are always flea ridden, poor things.

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    1. I've seen some with big swollen ticks between their spines, Simon - must be ultra-irritating

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  2. I feel itchy now!

    I haven't seen a hedgehog for almost twenty years - sad, isn't it?

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    1. It is such a shame they are indecline. They've bred in our garden at least twice and I have my fingers crossed for this year - good nesting habitat in the jungle behind our greenhouse!

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