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Old 12-04-2015, 10:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default European Hedgehogs

Does anyone know of any European hedgehog rescue organizations that offer adoption services?
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What do you mean with adoption?
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I mean where you can adopt them. I know they have several rescue organizations for European hedgehogs that are injured or abandoned in the wild. Not all of these hedgehogs can't be released back into the wild, I'd assume. I was just curious if there was any organizations in the where you can adopt them.
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would assume there is a process for being allowed to be one of the people allowed to take home and care for wild animals that would normally be illegal to keep as pets. I don't think you can just go and see if a rescue center has any available. There's probably certifications to acquire. But not only that, you'd probably need to already be a volunteer at the rescue center already so that they know who you are and that you'll properly care for the animal.

You're really not going to find any European hedgehogs at a wildlife rescue in the States though. Were you planning on a move to Europe and hence the interest?
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's less of me wanting one for myself and more of me wondering why I see more and more people having them as pets despite it being illegal to take them from their wild habitat. I've also heard rumors of European hedgehogs being in the states. I was just wondering how, why, and where.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Largely, I would discount any rumors of European hedgehogs in the states anywhere outside of a zoo. Since they're illegal to own, importing them would be a absolute nightmare, so really only a zoo should be able to get them. Which in turn means they only exist here in zoos, or if they're in the wild, then they're zoo escapees, which seems unlikely.

Aside from that, if you're seeing them online, it's basically one of a couple of scenarios: the people posting are affiliated with a rescue station and are caring for them legally; they found them in say their garden and are caring for them until they're well enough to release; they're keeping them illegally and are dumb enough to post it on the internet. Hehe, of course, people like to lie on the internet also. Some of what you're seeing could just be people taking pictures they found and claiming them as their own.

Could you yourself acquire one? With enough effort and money, probably. Is it worth it? No. It's just not. Should you try? No.
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Old 12-11-2015, 05:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You don't see a lot of people keeping European hedgehogs as pets, because it is illegal in many countries, but not all. Keep in mind the European hedgehog (also known as Western European hedgehog, E. europaeus) has a very big range, from southern European countries to Scandinavia in the north and even parts of Russia. It also lives on several islands in the Mediterranean sea as well as the British isles. I often see people talk about "UK hedgehogs", but there is no such thing. This animal lives all over the place!
On top of that, it has been introduced in New Zealand by European settlers. The European hedgehog is considered a pest there since it's an invasive species, and it's often preferred to keep found ones as pets because of the harm they do to the native flora and fauna (if it's complety legal there though... that I don't know).
The species closely resembles other related hedgehogs like the Northern white-breasted which means many can't keep them apart if they don't know what to look for, and a lot of the wild "pet" hedgehogs I've seen online are E. roumanicus or E. concolor, species which live in Eastern Europe/Russia/Asia (around the black sea). These might be hedgehogs you've seen in videos or pictures. A lot of these countries don't have hedgehog rescues. Rescues are exceptionally popular in the UK, probably because it is one of the few places where the Western European hedgehog population is declining (and because the west in general has more animal rescue centres) but they can be found in other European countries as well; in the east however, they are (from what I've been told) rare to non-existent, esp in the less densely populated areas. If someone finds an injured hedgehog there, it is often kept as a pet or taken care of by the people who found it until it is ready to be released.

I can't speak for every country, I am not sure how things go in the UK for example but here it is possible to "adopt" a wild hedgehog. All you need is a suitable garden. They look for two types of gardens, one is an open garden where hedgehogs can go in and out if they want to. You need to provide special shelter and food. These hedgehogs are ready to get back to the wild, all they need is a little extra (food and shelter) in case they need it.
The second type of garden is harder to find, because it needs to be enclosed. There needs to be shelter and food. This is for hedgehogs who are not ready to get out in the wild yet, and when they are, they will be relocated to a type 1 garden.
You can fill in a form on the website of our national hedgehog organisation and they'll come and check if your garden is suitable. I've applied for a type 1 garden but since it's winter there are no hedgehogs being released atm.

As for European hedgehogs in the US, I don't believe those rumours either. It's already a big hassle to import pet hedgehogs (African pygmies), not to mention the costs, and there are many strict laws which make it hard or nearly impossible to import protected wild animals.
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