Search

Betty, Gorleston’s second bald hedgehog

PUBLISHED: 09:40 27 May 2011

Betty the bald hedgehog now being looked after by Tonia Garner at the Foxy Lodge animal sanctuary in Hemsby.; Picture: James Bass

Betty the bald hedgehog now being looked after by Tonia Garner at the Foxy Lodge animal sanctuary in Hemsby.; Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

HE was a spike-free celebrity from Gorleston who hit the headlines and became known nationwide as an inexplicable one-off.

And after Baldrick the bald hedgehog passed away last summer, it seemed the world would not see his sort again.

But he was not alone. Meet Betty.

“It seemed just impossible,” said John Garner, who runs Foxy Lodge rescue centre with his wife Tonia, “and when my wife looked into the box for the first time she said ‘Oh my God we’ve got another Baldrick’.”

Underweight and out in the open during the day – a bad sign – six-week-old Betty was picked up just a few streets away from where Baldrick was found, much to the bewilderment of her current carers.

Taken to Foxy Lodge, in Hemsby, she has grown from strength to strength thanks to a lot of TLC from the couple, who have their own theories about the unlikely coincidence.

“She looks the same as Baldrick – she has the same face – and also does something similar when you handle her where she curls up in a ball and jumps up while making a huffing noise,” said John, who works as a train signaller when not caring for animals.

He added that outside Gorleston he had only heard of one other case in the whole of Britain.

“It’s too much of a coincidence to get another one, so we think there might be a female or male carrying a genetic disorder. They could even be brother or sister from different litters.”

Unlike the other hedgehogs, who the couple handle wearing latex gloves, Betty is picked up using a soft blanket. Extra care is also taken with cage mates with more aggressive hedgehogs avoided.

However, now weighing 650g and with a healthy appetite for cat food and chicken chunks, she is looking healthy and happy, and enjoys days out in the sun when it is hot enough.

“She’s a lovely little thing and she doesn’t suffer from the same irritable spots that Bernard did, but we can’t release her – she is like an animal without fur and just wouldn’t be able to keep warm enough to survive hibernation.”

As it is, when the frosts come she will have the warmth of the Garners’ specially converted bedroom, which now houses all kinds of creatures.

And who knows, maybe she will find herself with similar company sometime soon.

“If we’re right, then there could just be another one born this year that’s wandering around the area,” the 52-year-old added.

Contact Foxy Lodge on 01493 384237.

Related articles

0 comments

Other News

Yesterday, 23:05

Five people have been killed as serving police officer PC Keith Palmer was stabbed and his attacker shot dead in a major “terrorist incident” at the Houses of Parliament.

Yesterday, 23:02

The police officer who died was named by Scotland Yard as Keith Palmer, a 48-year-old husband and father.

Yesterday, 19:50

Like the famous green benches of the House of Commons, the police are part of the fabric of Westminster.

Yesterday, 18:45

An exclusive sailing squadron has marked its 40 year milestone with two celebratory events.

Most Read

Tue, 15:45

Police are investigating following the sudden death of a man in a Great Yarmouth hotel.

Read more
Mon, 14:50

Three teenagers are to appear in youth court later this month, after allegedly breaking into academy grounds after school hours.

Read more
Ormiston Venture Academy
Yesterday, 14:07

Police are appealing for help to trace a man who is wanted in Norwich.

Read more
Great Yarmouth
Mon, 17:42

A 10-year-old boy was hit in the head by a stranger in Gorleston.

Read more
Mon, 11:53

A pensioner who runs a takeaway in Great Yarmouth has described a break-in over the weekend as “gut-wrenching”.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 6°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter