THE British hedgehog may be in decline, but a rare variation appears to be thriving in Yorkshire.
A wildlife rescue centre near Selby has reported seeing an unusually high number of albino hedgehogs, with their distinctive pure white spines and pink eyes, nose and feet.
Annette Pyrah, who runs the Wildlife Orphanage and Hedgehog Hospital in Barlby, said almost every year they were admitting the rare creatures, which appear to glow in the dark thanks to their lack of pigment.
She said: “Considering that there are supposedly only 100 of these rare creatures in the whole of Britain, and only one albino per 100,000 born, then it truly appears that Yorkshire is a real hotspot for albinos.”
The centre is currently caring for an albino female named Twinkle, which was found at a bus stop in Barlby as a very poorly, underweight youngster.
Mrs Pyrah said: “Twinkle is a pure albino. It took us months to get her well again, but once we did, she very strangely began hibernating in September.
“She is a large, snowy white hedgehog who glows in the dark and unfortunately sticks out like a sore thumb. For this reason she will be constantly picked up and ‘saved’, so we are taking particular care in finding her the most suitable home.”
The centre is researching the phenomenon and has asked anyone who spots an albino hedgehog to telephone Mrs Pyrah on 0771 1883072.