Yorkshire has been declared a hotspot for rare albino hedgehogs.
And experts at the Wildlife Orphanage and Hedgehog Hospital, near Selby, are appealing to anyone seeing the white prickly creatures to report sightings.
Annette Pyrah, who runs the Barlby-based centre, explained: “Almost every year our Rescue admits albino hedgehogs. These are pure white hedgehogs with pink eyes, nose and feet.
“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 Rescue is currently caring for an albino female named Twinkle who was found at a bus stop in Barlby as a very poorly, underweight youngster.
Annette added: “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 Rescue is currently conducting research into how many albino hedgehogs are in the Yorkshire area and asks anyone who spots a wild, white hedgehog to report their sighting to Annette on 0771 1883072.
Annette explained: “Hedgehogs, no matter whether albino or not, should not been seen out in the day.
“They are nocturnal creatures and if seen in daylight, scrounging for food, are usually ill. We have a saying “out in the day, not okay.”
And she appealed: “Please don’t leave a poorly hedgehog in a box in your garage expecting it to get better. It won’t. Within three days it will have stopped eating and may be too ill for us to pull it back. Seek help immediately.”
The centre, on York Road, is running a Help Save Our Hedgehogs event on Sunday May 6 at Beetle Bank Open Farm, Murton Lane, York.