For Christmas 1995 my wife received an African Pygmy Hedgehog (Erinaceus albiventris) as a gift from one of her friends. Probably one of the most exotic pets we have ever had, this prickly little ball of curiosity would scurry around poking his nose into everything, so he was dubbed “Pookey”. Although he was small enough to fit into the palm of your hand, learning exactly how to handle this ball of 6,000 spikes was quite a challenge. Until he was comfortable, holding him was like trying to hang onto a ball of spikes. Slowly the ball would uncurl slightly and a little black “snuffle” would appear followed by two beady eyes and a cute, furry, white face. Then four little legs would appear and he would waddle up into the crook of your arm where he was content to watch the goings-on. His favorite treat was mealworms, but you had to be quick not to lose a piece of your finger when you offered him one. Pookey would snap them up with great relish with his verrry sharp little teeth! Unfortunately, hedgehogs are not long-lived in captivity, especially the pygmy variety, and he passed away in his sleep shortly before his 5th birthday.
Born: November 4, 1995
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