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January 25, 2009

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Maddy, the Pet of the Day
Name: Maddy
Age: Four months old
Gender: Female
Kind: European hedgehog
Home: Linz, Austria
   We found Maddy on October 24th, 2008 during midday when she was strolling around in the garden in front of our house at Linz/Pöstlingberg. She was very small and skinny (about 250 grams) and was searching for food in the warm sunshine - what an unusual appearance, as hedgehogs in Europe are nocturnal!

    Free living animals which are under nature conservation are not allowed to be taken away from their habitat. But the only exception is when the life of such an animal is in danger - as hers was. Hedgehogs found in late autumn with a live weight under 500 grams may be given help by feeding them and giving them shelter over the cold winter months. In late March when the first insects and snails (their favorite food) come around, they have to be given back to nature. We will do this then, but have been taking care of her and love her.

    We coddled her up with cat food, boiled or steamed mince meat with scrambled egg, oatmeal, grapes, pears and fresh avocado (which seemed to be her favorite food). Right now Maddy is in our cellar hibernating. While she was still in our apartment, she made friends with our cat Simba. But since he stung himself once accidentally with one of her spikes, he avoided getting close to her.

    One week before we discovered Maddy in our garden we saw one dead big hedgehog (driven over by a car or lorry) on the road near our settlement - maybe it was Maddy's mom or dad? If we succeed to get her over the cold winter and she is still alive in April, we really helped a poor, lonely creature - we owed it to nature!

Maddy, the Pet of the Day
Maddy, the Pet of the Day

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