There's a hedgehog in my BATH! The animals are under threat - but not this pampered pet who loves nothing more than a swim
After a week of prickly news for hedgehogs, at least this adorable little chap looks bristling with joy.
But then Hokey is an African Pygmy hedgehog living the high life in an apartment rather than taking his chances in the wild like Britain’s declining one million hedgehogs.
Shockingly, earlier this week a hedgehog was found in student accommodation at Sheffield University, with his spikes cruelly cut off.
Frankie, as he has been named, is being nursed back to health at an animal sanctuary.
How different things are for Hokey. Col Skinner, 29, a digital marketing consultant, and partner Beki Smith, 24, a social media executive, bought him for £200 from a specialist breeder at eight weeks old.
Now aged nine months, he has settled in to their second- storey flat in Manchester and enjoys the run of the place when the couple get home.
Mr Skinner said: ‘We chose him after finding out they make great pets. He loves swimming in the bath then getting wrapped in a flannel. They’re natural swimmers.’
However, an RSPCA spokesman sounded a note of caution: ‘African Pygmy hedgehogs have more specialist requirements than more traditional domesticated pets, so it’s difficult to meet their needs in a household environment.
‘We would encourage people to consider adopting a more traditional animal (like a cat or dog) from a rehoming centre.’
Photo shows: Hokey' the nine month old African Pygmy Hedgehog who lives an urban lifestyle in a flat in the centre of Manchester with owners Col Skinner, 28, and Beki Smith,24.