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Are there any great hedgehog exhibits?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by DavidBrown, 12 Feb 2016.

  1. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    I've been reading up on hedgehogs and learned that there are 17 species of them spread throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe.

    Apparently they are pest species in New Zealand. Have any of our Zoochat friends in New Zealand encountered them there?

    This got me to wondering what the state of hedgehog exhibits is in zoos?
    Are there any really good or great hedgehog exhibits? Do they feature in any nocturnal houses?

    Are there many hedgehog species in zoos? In North America the only species that I've seen are African pygmy hedgehogs. In zoos they seem to be education animals that have been confiscated for the pet trade. I am not aware of any hedgehog exhibits in American zoos beyond that, but perhaps there are some?

    For our European Zoochat friends, how often do you encounter hedgehogs in the wild? Are they so common that people would be bored to find them in zoos?
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    they are really common in NZ. I dare say almost everyone in NZ has seen multitudes of them, although obviously they only come out at night. They are seen dead on roads a lot too (when crossing roads they curl up in defence against oncoming cars and get squished).

    The species in NZ is the European hedgehog (our ones came from England) which are larger than the African pigmy hedgehogs.
     
  3. Macaw16

    Macaw16 Well-Known Member

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    Am I a European ZooChat friend? If so; in the summer I see them every now and again, and used to see them nightly. As they are nocturnal they are not at the state of visibility which would make people bored of them in zoos. They can (fairly) easily be seen though if people look.
     
  4. DesertRhino150

    DesertRhino150 Well-Known Member

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    I've visited three different zoos that have had hedgehog enclosures - Tropical Wings Zoo used to have an African pygmy hedgehog and a long-eared hedgehog in two small adjacent terrariums. Because they were not nocturnal exhibits, I never saw either of them.
    Likewise Colchester Zoo currently has an African pygmy hedgehog in a daylight terrarium which I have never seen either.

    Wildwood in Kent has two separate enclosures for the West European hedgehog. One is an enclosure in the nocturnal house, where they remained hidden while the other is an outdoor enclosure with several large hutches where I saw at least two different hedgehogs active during my visit.

    As for wild hedgehogs, they are nowhere near as common as they used to be thanks to people changing the layout of their gardens and clearing away hedges. I'm still quite fortunate to have a good number visiting my garden - in fact I recently caught one on my camera trap awake in mid-January.
     
  5. gerenuk

    gerenuk Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, they were keeping me up at 3 am last night while I was trying to camp.
     
  6. MikeG

    MikeG Well-Known Member

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    The nearest thing to a 'great hedgehog exhibit' I've encountered was at the Sharjah Breeding Centre For Endangered Arabian Wildlife, where 3 species were exhibited:
    Long-eared Hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus)
    Desert Hedgehog (Paraechinus aethiopicus)
    Brandt's Hedgehog (Paraechinus hypomelas)

    Unfortunately, I believe they no longer have the Brandt's (which seems to be more delicate in captivity than the others).
     
  7. Tim Brown

    Tim Brown Well-Known Member

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    Re.Childonias..strictly speaking the European Hedgehog has been split into Western(E. europaeus) and Eastern (E.roumanicus).So the ones in N.Z. are the former(obviously).Last time I was there Moscow displayed both taxa..adequately,if not stunningly.
     
  8. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Prior to the fire which destroyed the reptile and nocturnal house, Five Sisters also held three species - I was fortunate enough to see them on my sole visit to the collection:

    African Pygmy Hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris)
    Indian Hedgehog (Paraechinus micropus)
    Long-eared Hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus)

    Three, in fact!

    Southern White-breasted Hedgehog (Erinaceus concolor)
    Northern White-breasted Hedgehog (Erinaceus roumanicus)
    West European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)

    The fourth taxon within Erinaceus, the Amur Hedgehog, has always been deemed a distinct species as far as I know.
     
  9. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    I frequently come across European hedgehogs in the summer, we once had a mother give birth and raise a small family in the garden.
    I've also come across one of the white-breasted hedgehogs (Northern?) on an evening in a hotel in Istanbul; it seemed to be quite used to people, but I'm not sure how common they normally are.

    I'd agree with MikeG that the nocturnal enclosures in Sharjah are probably my favourite hedgehog displays.

    The British Wildlife Centre has a similar set - up to Wildwood's nocturnal enclosure.
    St Tiggywinkles, à rescue charity which displays some native species, has multiple hedgehog enclosures, but the most likely ones to be seen are those recovering in the displayed incubators.
     
  10. joe99

    joe99 Active Member

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    I live in NZ and yes I have seen heaps I even took care of a couple of babies when their mum got ran over
     
  11. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    is that Isaac the bar-tenrec?
     
  13. zoo_enthusiast

    zoo_enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    The only true hedgehog exhibit (as opposed to educational animal presentation) in North America that I saw is (or was, since it's been a few years since I last visited) a small tank housing one African pygmy hedgehog in the old Small Mammal House in Philadelphia Zoo. The same section of the house also had tanks for lesser hedgehog tenrec and least shrew. Only on one of my visits (out of several over a number of years) I saw both the hedgehog and the tenrec active and in full view (the Small Mammal House had a nocturnal section, but the hedgehog and tenrec tanks were in daylight section of the house).
     
  14. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I recently saw a pair of rather good exhibits at Jihlava containing hedgehog species; the first was a mixed exhibit for Long-eared Hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus aegypticus) and Senegal Galago, whilst the second was a mixed exhibit for Four-toed Hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris), Rodrigues Fruit Bat and European Scops Owl. Both were nocturnal, with the latter exhibit being so dark that it was nigh-impossible to see anything until our eyes had adjusted for a long time :p