Feature

United Kingdom: Cuddly and cute, but wild

&ldquo;Yet again,&rdquo; people are rushing to make pets out of adorable but entirely unsuitable animals, said Hugh Warwick in <em>Daily Telegraph.</em>

Hugh Warwick
Daily Telegraph

Did we learn nothing from the debacle of the potbellied pig? asked naturalist Hugh Warwick. “Yet again,” people are rushing to make pets out of adorable but entirely unsuitable animals. This time, it’s the African pygmy hedgehog. As the author of a book called A Prickly Affair: My Life With Hedgehogs, I’m the first to concede that hedgehogs are cute. But anyone who truly cares about the animals won’t try to tame them.

The Americans have already gone down that road, to disastrous effect. For a while in the U.S., hedgehogs were the “next big thing.” As with all pet crazes, breeding hedgehogs became something of a pyramid scheme: Dealers started “to breed breeding pairs to sell on to other people who wanted to join the racket.” All that inbreeding caused an epidemic of “the fatal condition Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome (no, I am not joking).” The craze then collapsed, and now many unwanted, sick hedgehogs are languishing at a hedgehog rescue center in Colorado.

“So please, think again before getting sucked into the next fad-pet craze.” Hedgehogs are wild animals. Don’t treat them “like accessories.”

Recommended

Strong earthquake hits southern Peru
Peru.
shaken up

Strong earthquake hits southern Peru

Fire kills 11 newborn babies in Senegal hospital
Senegal hospital fire
tragedy

Fire kills 11 newborn babies in Senegal hospital

Internal report blames Johnson, senior leadership for lockdown parties
Boris Johnson
partygate

Internal report blames Johnson, senior leadership for lockdown parties

Biden's promise to defend Taiwan
President Biden.
Picture of Harold MaassHarold Maass

Biden's promise to defend Taiwan

Most Popular

Is the war shifting in Russia's favor?
Vladimir Putin.
Opinion

Is the war shifting in Russia's favor?

Uvalde gunman was inside school for an hour as parents urged police to act
Uvalde school memorial
'Go in there! Go in there!'

Uvalde gunman was inside school for an hour as parents urged police to act

The Ginni Thomas problem
Ginni Thomas.
Opinion

The Ginni Thomas problem