A hedgehog rescued before last winter because he seemed 'too light' to survive fattened up so much that he can't return to the wild, even if he wanted to.
A hedgehog dubbed “Arbuckle”, presumably after disgraced silent film star and comedian Fatty Arbuckle, may just be the heaviest hedgehog ever recorded. As posted by The New Arc Animal Rescue Centre in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the spiny critter tipped the scales at a jaw-dropping 2.335 kilograms or around five pounds.
Hedgehogs are mainly insectivorous so staffers wondered how Arbuckle could have bulked up to such an astonishing extent: he could barely walk when his human caregiver brought him to the Centre. Moreover, his belly was so distended that curling up into a ball – a defensive posture hedgehogs are famed for – was no longer possible.
Upon questioning by Centre staff, it was revealed that Arbuckle was rescued last autumn after a well-meaning person assumed the slim and somewhat scrawny creature could never make it through a typical Scottish winter. By the time spring rolled around, Arbuckle was anything but scrawny... and he showed no inclination towards leaving his caregiver's home. “We believe we know the reason,” stated Keith Marley of New Arc at the Centre's Facebook.
“At roughly 4 times the weight of an average hedgehog for this time of year, Arbuckle... needs to go on a diet if he is to have any chance of surviving in the wild,” explained Marley to a reporter from the BBC. “He will be fed a restricted diet which is filling, and (we will) scatter his food around for exercise. It will be a long, gradual process... and he will be grumpy for a while.” Brace yourself, Arbuckle (and Scotland), it's gonna be a long summer.