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African Hedgehog Care

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, meaning that most of their activity occurs at night. They are also solitary animals, so you should allow them to be housed alone unless they are being bred. They also seem to prefer dim and quiet environments, and are easily startled. When a hedgehog is frightened, he may assume a protective position by rolling into a tight ball, tucking in the long nose and legs, and exposing his spines. Your hedgehog may puff up and spit or hiss if frightened.

Your hedgehog may do a self-annointing activity called "anting." This is a normal hedgehog activity performed when confronted by a new object or smell in his environment. The hedgehog will lick the new object repeatedly until saliva is produced and he begins drooling. Then he will groom his skin and spines with the frothy saliva.

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