Mar 19, 2009

Spud, the Mystery of Tiggywinkles

No one knows what's wrong with Spud. He was given to the staff at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire, UK, back in August, and they are still baffled. What's wrong with Spud? He's a spineless hedgehog. No, that's not a euphemism for cowardice. He's literally a hedgehog sans-spines.





















He's a normal hedgehog in all other respects. His diet is normal, his behavior is normal. It's just that he's got no spines. Tiggywinkles doesn't know what to do, so they're doing their best by giving him daily warm baths and rub-downs with baby oil. With that kind of treatment, I think more hedgehogs would elect to give up their spines. I would.

Below is what a spineless hedgehog looks like when rolled up. I, for one, am very glad they have spines. Who would have thought that the spines are what make this little guy so cute. There's a children's book in this tale, folks. Someone write it, please.

Thanks for the article, Alexandra and Theodosia.

12 comments:

Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! said...

what the hell???? Now that is unusual.

Todd said...

I was confused for about thirty seconds before I realized: spineless as in quill-less, not spineless as in backbone-less.

Anonymous said...

His ears/nose appear to be all scaly? Is that from him being quill-less?

douri said...

It never even occurred to me to submit this one when I saw it as I considered it cute. Rolled up it's slightly odd but fascinating.

Jack Ruttan said...

He's brilliant.

jkpolk said...

Mange?

Wendy said...

Ugh, if they're using mineral oil/baby oil, that's a petroleum derivative. That will dry the little guy out even more, AND toxic if he cleans his skin. Poor thing.

Vanessa said...

Mange immediately came to my mind too, especially because of his skin condition in the first picture. Severe ringworm could possibly have the same affect as well.
Poor tyke, I hope he is ok.

Theodosia said...

His face looks all scaley, so I'm thinking some kind of mega-eczema. Whatever, at least he's in a place where he'll be safe.

This is one of those cases where the ugly is so bizarre that it rounds the horn right back around to cute, sort of.

Kit said...

Awww, poor little hedgehog. I can only image that if something startles him, he tries to pretend he has his spikes still and attempts to 'defend' with them. I hope they grow back!

Rev. L. Rhee said...

Mange didn't come to my mind, but a certain boy-part did when I saw that guy all curled up. Ick- suddenly remembering why I'm a lesbian.

Ann Vole said...

Here is a page about a children's book starring a spineless hedgehog:
http://www.thebookchildren.com/2010/09/hoglet-spineless-hedghog.html