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Volunteer find pygmy hedgehog curled up among clothes donated to charity
An African Pygmy hedgehog was found curled up in a bag of clothes donated to a charity shop.
The very unusual discovery was made by a shocked volunteer at the British Heart Foundation shop in High Street, Walthamstow, last week.
Louise Harbour, BHF Area Manager, said: "We always get quirky donations in BHF shops but I think this has to be the most unique to date."
Pygmy hedgehogs, which are fully domesticated and sold as pets, are a quarter of the size of a normal hedgehog and do not carry any diseases or fleas.
The spiny stowaway, which is believed to have been in the bag for about three days, has been named Ewelina, after the volunteer who found her.
And the search is now on to track down the owner and solve the mystery of how it ended up in the bag.
Ewelina is being looked after at the South Essex Wildlife Hospital, where she is enjoying cat food and plenty of tender loving care.
Founder Sue Schwar said: “She was hungry when we found her but in a good condition.”
Hospital staff assume the hedgehog climbed into the bundle of clothes at her home before the bag was sealed and are looking forward to returning Ewelinato her home.
“Exotic animals are becoming more and more common but some owners are not familiar with how to keep them and they can fall victim to neglect,” Miss Schwar added
Ewelina, who is about the size of an orange, is the latest in a string of unusual creatures the hospital has looked after.
Last year the charity recovered a Saw-scaled viper, one of the world’s most deadly snakes, from a container at Tilbury Docks.
The hospital is a voluntary organisation and is currently being filmed for a channel 4 documentary ‘The Rescuers’.
Anyone who may help to find Ewelina’s owner can call 01375 893 893.
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