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Pair of African pygmy hedgehogs abandoned in a box in Harrow

A pair of African pygmy hedgehogs are being cared for by the RSPCA after being abandoned in a box in a London park.

Credit: RSPCA

The white hedgehogs were found huddled up in a cardboard box with newspaper and a fleece in Harrow.

Credit: RSPCA

The caller had described them as albino hedgehogs but, as they’d been abandoned in a box and weren’t found free roaming like native hedgehogs, I suspected they were African pygmy hedgehogs, which some people are keeping as pets.

When I arrived it quickly became clear that they were African pygmy hedgehogs that had clearly been abandoned by an owner who could no longer care for them or who took them on without properly understanding their complex needs.

– Eleanor Davies, RSPCA
Credit: RSPCA

The hedgehogs - now called Elvis and Priscilla - are now being cared for by RSPCA staff at Putney before being moved to a specialist wildlife centre for rehoming.

However, the RSPCA is concerned that the African pygmy hedgehog is one of Britain’s latest pet crazes.

An African pygmy hedgehog’s natural habitat is the steppes, savanna and grassy areas of west, central and east Africa.