Do you feel less prickly? Bald hedgehog gets its daily massage with aloe vera after losing all his spikes due to stress
- Bear, the hedgehog, is believed to have lost all his spines after getting ear mites
- He was taken in by staff as a rescue centre in Shropshire who are caring for him
- The bald hedgehog gets daily massages with aloe vera to help his spike grow
A bald hedgehog is captured getting daily massages with aloe vera after stress caused him to lose all of his prickly spikes.
The hedgehog, named Bear, was brought into the Cuan Wildlife Rescue Centre in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, by a concerned member of the public who didn’t know what animal he was.
Staff, who are now caring for Bear, believe he woke up early from hibernation with an ear mite infection, causing his spines to fall out due to stress.
But manager Fran Hill and the team believe the future is bright for the juvenile hedgehog and hope the tentative massages will help his spines grow back.
The hedgehog, named Bear, who was was brought into the Cuan Wildlife Rescue Centre in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, gets daily massages by a member of staff
Using gloves and aloe vera, the kind staff member slowly and softly massages Bear’s skin
He’s being massaged with aloe vera once a day and will also have a weekly bath with a special anti-bacterial shampoo to sooth the skin.
Ms Hill, 52, said: ‘It’s heartbreaking, it really is.
‘We can only assume that he went into hibernation and had these ear mites which took hold. When hedgehogs get stressed they lose their spines.
‘I think that prematurely brought him out of hibernation which added to the stress.
‘He must have been so cold as well.
Staff at the rescue centre say they have never seen a hedgehog that has lost nearly all of its prickles before.
Ms Hill said: ‘I’ve worked for Cuan for ten years and have seen probably six or seven bald hedgehogs but never one as bad as this. We’ve had some in the past that have lost 65 to 70 per cent of their spines but Bear’s got to have lost about 97 per cent.
Staff believe he woke up early from hibernation with an ear mite infection, causing his spines to fall out due to stress
Manager Fran Hill and the team believe the future is bright for the juvenile hedgehog and hope the tentative massages will help his spines grow back
‘He was brought in on Sunday by a member of the public who at first wasn’t sure what he was.
‘He was incredibly hungry. We put some cat food in front of him and he ate the lot. He also drank almost solidly for four minutes.
Fran and the team estimate Bear, who was named by staff member Dani Peat, will be with them for a couple of months before being released into the wild.
Bear’s daily massages are aimed to help blood circulation in the skin to promote growth in the spines.
Ms Hill said: ‘We think the spines will grow back but it will just take a bit of time.
Bear gets massaged with aloe vera once a day and will also have a weekly bath with a special anti-bacterial shampoo to sooth the skin
‘We need to keep conditioning the skin to encourage blood circulation and promote spine growth.
‘He’ll have one bath a week and a daily massage with aloe vera. His skin is very dry which may be partly down to dehydration.
‘We don’t know how long he’ll be with us – each animal responds differently but we anticipate it will be at least a couple of months then he’ll be released back into the wild.
‘We try not to get attached to the animals but it will be difficult not to with him. He’s so adorable. We don’t usually name them but because he’s going to be with us for a while we decided to.
‘The fact he’s eating us out of house and home is a good sign. If they will eat they’re almost half way there. We’ve a great team and he’ll get all the care he needs. He’s a little poppet.’