Bramble – African Pygmy Hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris)

Bramble - African Pygmy Hedgehog

Bramble – African Pygmy Hedgehog
(Atelerix albiventris)

African Pygmy Hedgehogs are one of 23 species of hedgehog worldwide.  They are also the smallest of the hedgehog family.  Also known as Four-toed Hedgehogs these animals have 4 toes each on their hind feet while the front feet have 5 toes.  Four-toed Hedgehogs have become very popular exotic pets.  Which is exactly why we ended up with little Bramble.  Bramble was purchased by someone thinking he’d make a cool pet, but they quickly lost interest.  Badger Run took the little guy in.  Bramble is primarily an insectivore, but in the wild he would also sample scorpions, slugs, centipedes, plant material, eggs, worms, & small reptiles.  Hedgehogs have excellent senses of smell & hearing which they use to detect prey as much 2 inches below ground.  These hedgehogs have a 3-8 year life expectancy & weigh anywhere from 8-24 ounces.  In captivity they are very prone to obesity & a degenerative nerve disease (Wobbly Leg).  Being from Africa these animals like warm temperatures particularly enjoying a range in the mid-high 70s.  Bramble spends a lot of nights (he’s nocturnal) on his special hedgehog exercise wheel.  In the wild these little critters can cover up to 5 miles a night so an exercise wheel is very important for him to stay healthy.  Bramble has non-barbed spines (about 5000) & a soft furry tummy.  He curls up in a ball & makes those spines stand erect when he’s upset & they are very sharp.  These spines not only protect him from “predators”, but they are also helpful for cushioning when a hedgehog falls from any height.

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