Prickles and A Paunch: Israel’s Overweight Hedgehogs Go on Diet

Prickles and A Paunch: Israel’s Overweight Hedgehogs Go on Diet

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Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, sits on top of a scale displaying the weight of 1477 grams (3.26 lbs) at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo
Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, sits on top of a scale displaying the weight of 1477 grams (3.26 lbs) at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 3, 2018. REUTERS/ Amir Cohen

RAMAT GAN, Israel (Reuters)

Ten overweight hedgehogs have had to go on strict diets and exercise regimes after they ate so much on the streets of Israel they struggled to curl up into a ball to fend off predators

Animal lovers found them waddling around and brought them into the hospital Ramat Gan zoo.

 

Zoo workers hold Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, and an average sized hedgehog at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo
Zoo workers hold Sherman, the overweight hedgehog (L), and an average sized hedgehog (R) at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 3, 2018. REUTERS/ Amir Cohen

 

Staff there said the hedgehogs had probably been snacking on food left out for pets.

“A lot of people put cat food on the streets for the stray cats, which is very nice but … the problem is that there’s other wildlife that eats it,” zookeeper Becka Rifkin told Reuters.

 

Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, sits behind a plant at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo
Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, sits behind a plant at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 3, 2018. REUTERS/ Amir Cohen

 

One adult male named Sherman was 1.6 kg (3.5 lb) when he arrived at the facility two months ago, almost double the average weight for a hedgehog his age.

He has since lost 120 grams after staff monitored his diet and left him to run around an enclosure. They hope they will be able to release him by the summer.

 

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

 

 

Zoo worker holds Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo
Zoo worker holds Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 3, 2018. REUTERS/ Amir Cohen

 

Zoo worker holds Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo
Zoo worker holds Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 3, 2018. REUTERS/ Amir Cohen

 

Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, sniffles leaves at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo
Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, sniffles leaves at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 3, 2018. REUTERS/ Amir Cohen

 

Zoo worker places Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, on a scale at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo
Zoo worker places Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, on a scale at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 3, 2018. REUTERS/ Amir Cohen

 

Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, sits in his cage at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo
Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, sits in his cage at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 3, 2018. REUTERS/ Amir Cohen

 

Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, sits in his cage at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo
Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, sits in his cage at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 3, 2018. REUTERS/ Amir Cohen

 

Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, sits in his cage at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo
Sherman, the overweight hedgehog, sits in his cage at the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo, near Tel Aviv, Israel January 3, 2018. REUTERS/ Amir Cohen