‘World’s fattest hedgehog’ put on diet

Image copyright New Arc
Image caption Arbuckle could hardly walk after over-eating

A hedgehog which it is thought could be the world’s fattest has been placed on a strict diet and exercise regime.

Weighing in at 2.335kg (5lbs) – about four times the size of a normal hedgehog – it was handed in to a rescue centre in Aberdeenshire.

Now named Arbuckle, the hedgehog could barely walk or form a defensive ball.

Keith Marley, of The New Arc Animal Rescue Centre, near Ellon, said: “He’s about the size of a World Cup football, after overfeeding.”

Image copyright New Arc
Image copyright New Arc

Mr Marley said it was the heaviest hedgehog they could find a record of.

He told the BBC Scotland news website: “We were really surprised by his size and weight, as the average is about 600g.

“The person who contacted us said he was feeding hedgehogs but this one stayed and refused to go – this may well have been due to the fact he could hardly walk.

“He will be fed a restricted diet which is filling, and scatter his food around for exercise. It will be a long, gradual process.”

Image copyright New Arc
Image caption The hedgehog’s weight shocked rescue staff

Mr Marley added: “He will be grumpy for a while but we’re being cruel to be kind. There is no way he would survive in the wild.”

In 2016, an overweight hedgehog nicknamed Mr Piggywinkle was put on a diet at an animal rescue centre in Wiltshire.

The 1.8kg (4lb) hedgehog piled on the pounds after being hand-reared on a diet of dog food and mealworms.