Ramat Gan Safari Zoo, a Zoological Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, is taking action against a growing trend of hedgehog obesity by launching a hedgehog Weight Watchers program. Hedgehogs come to the center when they reach a weight more than 31 ounces. The Zoological Center explains on their Facebook page that the amount of overweight hedgehogs is steadily increasing and the center is now seeing the same overweight hedgehogs coming back time after time.
The reason? People are leaving bowls of pet food outside. Every day is Christmas when those cute little hedgehogs find a plate of cat food, and they just can’t help but gorge themselves. Plus, they don’t even have to take more than a few steps.
“Hedgehogs who used to find their food through a long walk and search, using up energy, can suddenly gather around near houses, public gardens, and enjoy our cornucopia.”
Sherman the hedgehog (pictured above) is the poster boy for the new slimming program from the Ramat Gan Safari Zoo.
Dr. Yigal Horowitz, veterinarian and director of the wildlife hospital, explains that even though a fat hedgehog might sound adorable, the creatures struggle to survive in the wild. “When he came to us to the wildlife hospital, we realized immediately that he had no medical condition except for obesity, which is disease as much as any other disease.”
Sherman is to be put on a diet before he could be released back into the wild. He how came in weighing more than 2 pounds has already lost a little weight. The center is hopeful this is only the beginning.
This post was written by Holly Royce. For more, check out our sister site Now to Love.