African Pygmy/Four-Toed/White-Bellied Hedgehog

ANIMAL:
African Pygmy/Four-Toed/White-Bellied Hedgehog Atelerix albiventris

Type of Animal:
Hedgehog

Habitat:
Savanna, steppe, grassland, grassy areas, desert, scrubland, semidesert, scrub forest, woodlands, bushland, thickets, plains, agricultural land, gardens, stables, food storage buildings, areas where livestock are, dry rocky areas, city streets, forests, can be found as high as 6,600 ft above sea level but prefers lower elevations

Location(s):
Ranges from Senegal, extreme S Mauritania, & S Mali in west to southern Sudan & S Sudan east to Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, & Somalia down through Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, extreme E Zambia, Malawi, & Malawi-Mozambique border

Appearance:
Oval body, short legs, short tail, long nose, small beady eyes, brown/gray spines w/ white/cream tips, speckled grey fur, white face/legs/belly

Food/Diet:
Insects, worms, caterpillars, slugs, snails, amphibians, small mammals, birds, fruits, plant matter, eggs, snakes (including small venomous species), lizards, vegetables, cat food, greens, insect larvae, berries, carrion, melons, fungi, roots, centipedes, spiders, scorpions, seeds, nuts, dog food, grubs, millipedes, land crabs

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding from zoos & breeders. Bred for pet trade.

Lifestyle:
Solitary

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Boar
Female: Sow
Young: Hoglet
Group: Solitary

Weight:
Male: 14-21 oz
Female: 8.8-14 oz
Young: 2.5 oz

Gestation:
5 weeks 

Life Span:
2-3 years in wild, 6-8 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male: 6 in
Female: 8 in

Tail Length:
1-1.5 in, same for both sexes

Main predators of adults are caracals, predatory birds, honey badgers, jackals, hyenas, domestic/feral dogs, wild dogs, & weasels. Adult hedgehogs prey on hoglets.
 
Fights can be fierce & even fatal, especially among males.
 
Active at night (nocturnal).
 
Have excellent sense of hearing/smell.
 
Quite vocal making variety of sounds such as hisses, growls, squeals, & chirps.
 
Sexually mature at 2 months old.
 
Can breed up to 4 times a year, w/ each litter having 1-10 hoglets.
 
Females have been known to cannibalize young if disturbed.
 
Courtship consists of hours of circling each other, making vocalizations.

Fun Fact(s):
When exposed to foreign smells/tastes, they’ll rub frothy saliva on quills.
 
Virtually immune to snake & scorpion venom.
 
Hoglets born w/ quills just below skin to prevent injury to mom.
 
Known to be great pets.
 
Often hybridized w/ Algerian/North African Hedgehogs in captivity.
 
Curls in tight ball when threatened w/ quills sticking out in all directions.
African Pygmy Hedgehog, stock photo

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