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Snowball, The fat Albino Hedgehog

Updated on September 12, 2012

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.

Diet

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?

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All Photo's by Jeff Moore. Public Domain

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    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, Tina, he is cute isn't he? my brother used to have loads in his garden, but not the albino sort, thanks again, peace chicken grease! ha ha

    • gr82bme profile image

      gr82bme 

      7 years ago from USA

      Nell, so cute. I loved this hub about Snowball the fat albino hedgehog. The pictures were great also. Now I know what one looks like too.

      peace chicken grease

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, Alyssa, that's great! they are lovely aren't they? tiggy winkles has been going for years, looking after all the sick animals, it is a great place, good luck with your new prickly bundle! lol

    • profile image

      Alyssa =) 

      7 years ago

      I am actually getting a albino pygmy hedgehog in about 2 weeks. I can not wait to bring the prickly bundle home and take care of it. I have read that exercise is crucial to them, and they will gorge themselves if given the chance. I loved the post, its good to know that places like that do exist and that people do still have hearts.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, Sally, thanks for reading it, it is a lovely place, in fact it is not far from me, that's typical of us English, animal mad! ha ha thanks again nell

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      I'd be overweight too since I love coconut cake!! Tiggywinkles sounds like a wonderful institution. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, misty, thanks for coming back, I know, it is sad when they get run over by a car, my brother used to get loads in his garden and evidently they love coconut cake! cheers nell

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      We have loads of the 'normal' coloured ones here in Guernsey, and I am frequently seen getting out of my car to gently lift them out of the road and place them in hedgerows, gardens or fields to avoid them being run over by cars. It makes me so sad to see how many are not so lucky and are simply left squashed in the road.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, misty, I never knew that! lol I think I would be fascinated to see one over here wandering about, I nearly trod on a 'normal' one the other night! I was just about to put my foot down in the dark, when all of a sudden it moved! Phew! that would have been painful if I hadn't have seen it! thanks again nell

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Here in the Channel Islands Alderney is famous for its Albino Hedgehogs, so much so they have been featured a number of times on television. Actually I am not sure if they even have normal coloured Hedgehogs on Alderney, (perhaps an Alderney resident might comment here and confirm this). They look gorgeous though, don't they!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, Polly, thanks for finding this! I seemed to have lost this somewhere along the line, I should have linked it to another one! thanks so much, and I wish I could get 101 that would certainly be different! ha ha thanks nell

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 

      7 years ago from US

      How cute I sure missed this one! Been awhile but I rated it up anyway, maybe you will get 101, you think? Congrats!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi, Raisingme, thanks for the comment, glad you liked it. cheers nell

    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 

      8 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      I very much enjoyed reading this. Thank You.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi, Truth, yes they are quite tame. Especially the ones in my brothers garden. He should put a sign up saying 'hedgehogs diner' as they all wait outside for him to feed them! Thanks again, Nell

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Great hub, they look like they would be fun to watch running around gardens. I had no idea they were almost tame in how they act around people. Thanks.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hiya Keira, thanks for reading it, he is cute is'nt he? I love hedgehogs, we have always had them in all our gardens where we have lived. Thanks again, and it is always nice hearing from you. Nell

    • profile image

      Keira7 

      8 years ago

      Hello my dear friend, I love animals too and your hub and the cute hedgehog. Beautiful photos. Thanks my dear for sharing your love of animals with us. Great hub as always.:)

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi, Cleanclover, yes I agree with you that he may be in danger from predators, but he was a wild hedgehog, and somebody brought him to the animal hospital. I am glad they did, he is a lovely little thing. thanks again Nell

    • Cleanclover profile image

      Cleanclover 

      8 years ago from Piece of land!

      Thanx Nell for the info on Tiggywinkles. I love animals too :-). I wonder snowball, the albino hedghog would have survived to adulthood if he were born in wild. I guess the different colour would attract predators and so we don't find many albino animals in the wild. This is rare. Thans again nell :-)

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hiya ehern, yes my brother feeds them on cake, but not just any cake, it has to be coconut cake! They will eat other things but that is the best. obviously nothing with chocolate in it as that can poison small animals. Something to do with their digestion. It cannot break it down, or something like that. At one stage he was picking them up and putting them over the gate, and they would run straight around and push under the fence to come back in. My aunt was the worse, she used to feed them and every animal in the garden, till in the end every animal was fat and round. it was like something out of a childrens story! thanks again. Nell

    • ehern33 profile image

      ehern33 

      8 years ago

      Nell, you fed them cake? Is that why they are all over weight? LOL I could pretty much sit there and watch them run around for hours.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hello, ahern thanks for reading it. Yes they do look like mini porcupines, and they are so cute. My brother gets about ten in his garden every year, and they are so tame, one of them kept running past and building his nest under the hedge at the bottom of the garden, while we were stood there watching him! He had loads of dried grass in his mouth and nearly ran over my foot! One of them knew when my brother was going to feed him. He would wait on the path outside the back door, and my brother would come out with cake and bend down and feed him. Of course they all cottoned on to this, and he ended up with loads coming in, in the end. it was like a cafe!

      And Hi to Hello Hello, I am glad you enjoyed it , thought I would do something different, and he caught my eye, and I wanted to keep him. D.A.L thanks for stopping by, I think we are both animal fanatics, and I know you do a lot for them, and I would like to maybe volunteer for something down here, too. But till then I will try and get the point across when I see things like this. Love em to bits!! Thanks again all, lol Nell

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Those of us who love and respect wildlife can only have admiration for the dedication shown by any one who cares for sick animals. Excellent hub. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      What a lovely hub. I so enjoyed reading it. Thank you

    • ehern33 profile image

      ehern33 

      8 years ago

      They look like little porcupines. They are cute little things. Another nice hub Nell.

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