African Pygmy Hedgehog

African Pygmy Hedgehog at Wingham Wildlife Park

African Pygmy Hedgehog Natural History

Size

These little hedgehogs measure between 5 and 8 inches (12-20 cm) and weigh between 0.5-1.25 lbs (227-567 grams).

Habitat and Distribution

This is a species which occurs throughout most of central and eastern Africa inhabiting grassy and dry rocky environments.

Age

They have an average lifespan of five years but can live for over 8.

Diet

They eat a wide variety of insects in the wild plus earthworms, slugs, fruit, fungi, eggs and even on occasion snakes

Groups and Breeding

These hedgehogs have a solitary nature, only coming together to breed. A male will court a female by with a bird-like call. After mating she will give birth to between 2-10 pups in a nest she has built after a 30 day gestation period.

Threats

The IUCN lists this species as least concern. However, they are experiencing habitat loss, collection for the pet trade and losses on increasing roadways.

Interesting facts

Young hedgehogs lose all their ‘baby spikes’ and replace them with ‘adult spikes’ just like human teeth. An adult has around 6000 spikes on their body.

The Pygmy Hedgehog During Your Day Out in Kent

The African pygmy hedgehogs at Wingham Wildlife Park are on display upstairs in the chimpanzee house. This area is also home to Linnaeus two toed sloths, Senegal bush babies, southern tamandua, plantain squirrel and southern three-banded armadillos plus cotton top, emperor and red handed tamarins.