Heavy hedgehog placed on diet

Arbuckle may be UK's largest hedgehog ever

New Arc Animal Rescue Centre via Facebook

Arbuckle the hedgehog is on a diet after weighing in at a little over 5 pounds at the New Arc Animal Rescue Centre in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

ABERDEENSHIRE, Scotland - An animal rescue center in Scotland believes it has a hedgehog that might be the heaviest ever recorded in the country.

United Press International reported that the massive hedgehog, named Arbuckle, was taken in by a man who thought the animal was too light to survive the winter. Officials at the New Arc Animal Rescue Centre in Aberdeenshire said the man had good intentions.

But after caring for Arbuckle through the winter, the man noticed that the hedgehog didn't want to leave when spring arrived.

"We believe we know the reason," New Arc posted on Facebook, along with a photo of Arbuckle on a scale showing his weight -- 2.335 kilograms, or just over 5 pounds.

"Arbuckle weighed in at a massive 2.335 Kilos which might well make him Scotland's heaviest ever hedgehog, if not the U.K.'s. At roughly 4 times the weight of an average hedgehog for this time of year, Arbuckle can hardly walk and is unable to curl into a defensive 'ball' so he needs to go on a diet if he is to have any chance of surviving in the wild," New Arc's post said.

Keith Marley of the Centre told the BBC that Arbuckle would be on a restricted diet and his food will be scattered around, so he's forced to exercise. But it's expected to be a long, gradual process. He said that's necessary so Arbuckle's internal organs and bone structure can adapt and any damage that's already occurred can be reversed.

"He will be grumpy for a while, but we're being cruel to be kind," Marley said. "There is no way he would survive in the wild."

 

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