Snowball, The fat Albino Hedgehog
The Worlds busiest Animal Hospital.
A few miles up the road from where I live, is a remarkable place called Tiggywinkles. It is here where the latest addition, a little round ball of prickles, has been taken to make him go on a diet! Snowball, the albino hedgehog has been a greedy little boy. The centre for sick hedgehogs and other animals has decided that, enough is enough, and the little porker has to go on a diet. He was brought in, in October, and has been put on a strict diet and exercise regime.
Just over 3Ibs in weight, he arrived at the Aylesbury Centre, after gorging on lots and lots of dog food, that animal lovers had left outside their houses at night to keep the poor little starving thing going! So snowball is now having to get the old swimming trunks on and undergo daily lessons up and down the pool to try and trim his waist line. Not just any old swimming pool, it is a Hydrotherapy pool given to the centre by TV presenter Phillipa Forrester. Actually it is a jacuzzi, lots of steam baths then! As well as the jacuzzi, he is having to run each day. How that works is any body's guess! But being three times the weight of a normal Hedgehog, it must be very difficult for him.
Instead of dog food, he is being fed kitten biscuits and has managed to lose a few pounds already. Tiggywinkles founder, Lee Stocker said, He was very, very fat, and if he had been given even more food, he would have eaten the lot.The idea is to get him ready for hibernation so he can lose the rest of the weight over the winter.HIs Albinism is found only in 100,000 hedgehogs and this means he will be more vulnerable to predators.
Tiggywinkles Animal Hospital
Tiggywinkles also takes care of other wildlife such as badgers, wild birds,foxes and even a few reptiles and amphibians have ended up there. If you think that over five million animals are hurt and injured in Britain every year, you can see why we need this hospital.
At this moment in time, they have over five hundred sick hedgehogs, and numerous other animals. This year alone, they have had over 10,000 animals brought in and saved by the quick work of the caring vets and animal specialists. And the great thing is , everything is free, but they always need donations to keep it going.
It all started in 1978 when when Sue and Les Stocker, and their son Colin, started taking in animals, they soon realised that there was no other facilities to take in these animals and they soon began to be inundated with animals brought to them by the general public. Soon they were dealing with sick toads, badgers deers and swans, and they realised something had to be done, and done quickly. With the help of a sympathetic vet they soon learnt as much as possible about the general care and upkeep of the animals.
Then in 1983 after years of funding it out of their own money, they were given they life saver of becoming a registered charity. with the official title, The Wildlife Hospital Trust.
Soon there were so many hedgehogs being brought it that they had to give them their own hospital ward. on the 9th August 1985, with a great fanfare and celebration, the unit was opened by Susan Hampshire an English actress, and named St. Tiggywinkles.
It gets stronger and busier by the year, and always needs donations. What a great place. I love anybody who loves animals, and I am a great lover of hedgehogs. So here he is, the latest addition to the family. I think he is cute. Don't you?
All Photo's by Jeff Moore. Public Domain
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