Thinking that animals don’t feel stress is a big mistake. They are very sensitive creatures, affected by all the emotions caused by their life experiences.
The bear was a noble hedgehog who was so stressed out that he lost all of his characteristic spines.
The adorable little animal was brought to the Wildlife Rescue Center in Many Wenlock, Shropshire, by someone who had no idea it was actually a hedgehog.
Upon arrival, he was treated by the center’s veterinarians, who diagnosed that Bear had lost his spines due to excessive stress from an ear infection.
Fortunately, their spines can grow back , but for that to happen, they must receive special care to treat dry skin caused by severe dehydration.
She gets a daily massage with alcohol and a weekly bath with an antibacterial shampoo to soothe her delicate skin.
Fran, 52 years old and the shelter’s manager, expressed her sadness at all that this defenseless little animal had to endure.
“It’s sad, it really is. We can only assume that during hibernation these mites latched on and put him under stress. When hedgehogs are stressed, they lose their spines.
It is presumed that stress brought him out of hibernation prematurely. He must have been very cold.
During the decade that Fran has worked at the refuge, she has only seen 6 or 7 bald hedgehogs, but none in as delicate a condition as Bear’s.
“We’ve had some hedgehogs that have lost 65 to 70 percent of their spines, but Bear has lost about 97 percent.”
Bear made it to the center one Sunday thanks to someone who found him and decided to take him without being sure what he was.
“I was incredibly hungry. We put some cat food in front of him and he ate it all. He also drank liquid non-stop for 4 minutes”.
Despite the fact that each animal reacts in a different way and at a different time, it is estimated that Bear will be cared for about 4 months before being released into its natural habitat.
“We think the spines will grow back, but it will only take a little time. You need to keep conditioning your skin to stimulate blood circulation and promote spinal growth.”
Although Bear has a good weight for a hedgehog, nearly a pound, that was not his actual weight. It was obviously a larger hedgehog because he had a lot of loose skin.
“We try not to get attached to animals, but it’s going to be hard not to get attached to him. He is so adorable. The fact that you are eating outside and inside his house is an excellent sign. We have a great team and he will receive all the attention he needs.”
His recovery is slow, but receiving special care little by little he will get ahead and will be able to live again in his natural habitat.
Please keep sharing this beautiful story and thank you for all the love this beautiful hedgehog has received.