Prickly Pets, Britains Latest Craze, African Pygmy HedgehogsKeith
The African Pygmy Hedgehog has become a popular pet here in the UK.
The scientific name for an African Pygmy hedgehog is Atelerix meaning “ineffective fighter. Species name is Albiventris meaning “White belly”. Altogether the name is “ineffective fighter with a white belly”.
It is a cross between the African White-bellied hedgehog, and and the Algerian hedgehog. Some are pale in colour, as the snowy Dark Eyed White hedgehog; others are cappuccino-coloured. The Chocolate Snowflake Pinto is dark brown.
The can have upto 5000 quills and are surprisingly docile and easy to handle. They can fall asleep in your hand or lap, are nocturnal so if you are working during the day they will probably be asleep anyway.
They do not tend to trigger allergies as some pets do and have little odour.
They do not normally grow above 10 inches long and usually weigh about half a kilo.
They have been popular in the US since the 1980s and here in the UK during the last decade.
The African Pygmy Hedgehog is a hybrid of the Algerian and Four Toed Hedgehog’s found in the wild. They live in grassland, scrub areas and savannahs. They eat a variety of foods such as slugs, worms, insects, plants, fruits, and live food such as mice, frogs,lizards, also eggs and vegetation. They are mainly solitary animals,sleeping under leaves, rocks, in tree roots, logs and holes and also use these places to hide from unwelcome species.
You can join the African Pygmy Hedgehog Club who recommend keeping them in a vivarium or glass tank.
The can also have the run of a room providing you have sussed out any possible hazards and dangers.
Their life span is 3 to 8 years and also have sensitive stomachs which can be a problem.