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African pygmy hedgehog found abandoned in London Underground

By
Daniel Uria
RSPCA animal collection officers rescued an African pygmy hedgehog that was found abandoned in a hamster cage in the London Underground. 
 Photo by RSPCA
RSPCA animal collection officers rescued an African pygmy hedgehog that was found abandoned in a hamster cage in the London Underground. Photo by RSPCA

Sept. 1 (UPI) -- The Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rescued an African pygmy hedgehog that was found abandoned in England.

Workers at the Edgware Road platform of the London Underground found the hedgehog alone in a hamster carrier and contacted animal collection officer Jill Sanders, who rushed to the rescue.

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"I was relieved that the little hedgehog was still alive as it was far too cold for him," Sanders said. "He was crammed into a tiny cage and must have been very disoriented and frightened."

The RSPCA noted that the African pygmy hedgehog is "one of Britain's latest pet crazes," but does not believe they should be kept as pets.

"Like many exotic animals, they have very specific needs, which relate to where they come from in the wild," the RSPCA said. "An African pygmy hedgehog's natural habitat is the semi-arid areas of central Africa and in captivity it would therefore require a heated enclosure."

The hedgehog, which rescuers named "Paddington," was taken to a hedgehog caretaker in London, as the RSPCA searches for its owner.

"It's not clear whether he's been abandoned or if his owner left him behind by mistake so if anyone recognizes him we'd urge them to get in touch by calling our appeal line," Sanders said.

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