Get ready to learn a little more about hedgehogs, because they’re taking the spotlight. Well, at least one is. They possess distinctly grumpy looking faces to go along with their aloof demeanors, but this particular hedgehog has reason to be especially bothered.
Fat and seemingly happy hedgehog named Arbuckle was recently handed into a Scottish rescue center. Arbuckle weighed 5 pounds — 2.335 kilograms — couldn’t effectively walk nor form a hedgehog’s trademark defensive ball. The opposite of our speedy video game hedgehog Sonic, when Arbuckle came into the rescue center, employee Keith Marley reported: “He’s about the size of a World Cup football, after overfeeding.”
For reference, a typical hedgehog weighs an average of 600 grams. Our buddy Arbuckle is nearly four times that. Looking into records, the center couldn’t find a hedgehog larger than Arbuckle and set to making him healthy again. His severely dilapidated abilities to walk and defend himself make it impossible for him to survive in the wild. Thus, he’s been assigned a summer diet and exercise regiment.
“The person who contacted us said he was feeding hedgehogs but this one stayed and refused to go – this may well have been due to the fact he could hardly walk. He will be fed a restricted diet which is filling, and scatter his food around for exercise. It will be a long, gradual process. He will be grumpy for a while but we’re being cruel to be kind. There is no way he would survive in the wild,” Marley said. In South Carolina, 2.5% of private sector workers were injured on the job in 2016. In the private animal care sector, this makes us wonder how common grumpy hedgehog based injuries might be. It seems like Mr. Marley has a good, albeit gloved, grasp on a prickly situation. We wish Arbuckle only the greatest of health.
Think of Arbuckle the next time you’re tempted to bemoan dieting and exercise. Imagine the before and after of Arbuckle the hedgehog standing triumphantly on an inspirational poster and find your motivation. If he can do it, so can you.