the overweight hedgehog is running and swimming his way back to health
By Scott Warren
With Christmas just around the corner, many of us will pile on a few festive
pounds, but it would take a substantial Christmas feast to outdo Snowball the
Too much of a good life eating dog food has taken its toll on the
overweight albino hedgehog, whose weight is three times what is normal for his
Snowball currently tips the scales at 1.5 kilograms - a normal hedgehog
weighs just 500 grams.
Scales don't lie: Snowball has been placed on an intensive swimming and
running regime and has lost 38g so far
His eating began to threaten his health, and St Tiggywinkles Wildlife
Hospital in Buckinghamshire was called in to help him shed the extra weight.
Staff at St Tiggywinkles have placed him on a diet of low-fat kitten
biscuits and are getting his heart pumping through running and swimming
Only one in 10,000 hedgehogs is born albino, so Snowball was already quite
a rare find even before his weight ballooned.
A member of the public took Snowball to the hospital in October.
St Tiggywinkles founder Les Stocker said Snowball was in for a long
'He has been eating a lot of dog food,' he said. 'People put it out for
hedgehogs and given half a chance they just eat and eat and eat.'
Snowball has so far shed 38 grams. He will remain in training at the
hospital until the summer, when he will be released into a protected area for
other albinos of his breed.