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Is it a hedgehog – or a hat bobble? It can be surprisingly difficult to tell the difference
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Is it a hedgehog – or a hat bobble? It can be surprisingly difficult to tell the difference

Name: Baby hedgehog.

Age: Unknown.

Appearance: Very poorly.

Oh no! Can it be saved? That’s what the kindly animal lover who found it lying on the pavement in the cold wondered. So she scooped it up, took it home and put it in a cardboard box with a hot-water bottle and a small dish of food.

Nursing it back to health? Sadly, it didn’t seem to have any appetite.

The ‘baby hedgehog’ in a box with some foodView image in fullscreen

Then what? When it still hadn’t moved the next morning, she rushed it to the Lower Moss Wood wildlife hospital in Knutsford, Cheshire.

And they nursed it back to health? There was nothing they could do.

Why not? It’s a wildlife hospital! Because when they examined it, they discovered it wasn’t a baby hedgehog at all.

What was it? A bobble.

What’s a bobble? The pompom on the top of a winter hat.

Are you telling me that someone brought a piece of hat into an animal rescue centre? It’s an easy mistake to make.

No, it isn’t. Apparently, she was very embarrassed.

I should think so. “Remember, kindness knows no bounds,” say the folks at the Lower Moss Wood wildlife hospital.

I’m not sure that’s the lesson here. Anyway, this happens more often than you might think.

People taking sick accessories to hospital? After the story broke, a woman contacted BBC Breakfast to admit she had once taken a fruit loaf to the vet after finding it on the lawn, thinking it was a hedgehog.

A fruit loaf isn’t even spiky. Allegedly, some birds had pecked it into a spiky shape. Another man tried to rescue a horse poo from the middle of a busy road.

Should the government be educating the public about what hedgehogs look like? It’s not just hedgehogs. The RSPCA regularly investigates snake sightings which turn out to be toys or even bits of old strap.

I despair, I really do. It has also been called out to rescue stuffed animals, decoy ducks and a white plastic chair that was mistaken for a swan.

A cute hedgehogView image in fullscreen

You know what the real tragedy of all this is? That people have become so disconnected from nature they can’t distinguish ailing wildlife from inanimate objects?

That there’s a hat out there missing a bobble. Yes – won’t someone please think of the hats?

Do say: “The good news is, the dog standing menacingly in your garden is not an XL bully.”

Don’t say: “The bad news is, it’s an ottoman.”

Source: theguardian.com