Taking hedgehog pictures can be very rewarding but only if you can find them, that is. They are very shy, timid animals that normally only appear at night, so if you manage to see any on a safari count it as a huge bonus.
I've been going on safari for over 40 years now and have never had the privilege of seeing one of these beauties yet, so to get a photo of them is a rare opportunity indeed. The species that you are most likely to find in South Africa is the Southern African hedgehog.
They have a pretty varied diet, from frogs and lizards to carrion and fungi. And they form a large part of the diet of the Giant eagle owl, which I suppose could be counted as their arch enemy # 1.
These little guys only weigh between 240 to 400 g and are about 20 cm long from head to tail, so they are heavily reliant on the spines that cover their body for protection. When threatened, they roll up into a spine covered ball by pulling the loose skin over their head and legs, a ploy which is effective enough to deter even lions.
They are solitary in nature so they don't tolerate others in their territory vey well and if they do happen to meet another one of their kind there is a lot of snuffling, snorting and head butting that occurs.
The ones on this page are African pygmy hedgehogs which are found in the central and eastern parts of Africa right down into Mocambique. They have become popular as pets since the 1980's in the northern hemisphere so there are a good number of domesticated ones now.
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