European Hedgehog

Latin Name Erinaceus europaeus
Class Mammalia
Order Eulipotyphla
Family Erinaceidae
IUCN status Least concern
Habitat Thrives in man-made habitats such as gardens, orchards, vineyards and woodlands Distribution Endemic to Europe including Russia

General Information

The hedgehog is abundant throughout its range and a popular visitor to gardens in the UK. It is mainly nocturnal when it forages for worms, slugs, earwigs, fallen fruits, eggs and surprisingly it will eat young grass snakes and adders as it is somewhat immune to snake venom. It usually hibernates in winter which is followed by the breeding season. In the wild they may only live a few years but could reach up to 10 years.

Fun Fact

Hedgehog babies called hoglets are born naked and blind. But within 48 hours, a layer of fine white prickles emerge through the skin to protect them.

Keeper Notes

Our resident hedgehog is called Hattie. She is part of an important programme to conserve hedgehogs in the UK. Although Hattie is unable to live in the wild, her offspring are released into the wild to help boost their declining populations.