Woman Rescues Baby Hedgehog, Realizes It’s a Hat Pom-Pom

There was a reason it hadn’t touched the cat food in its cardboard box.

It could happen to anyone.
It could happen to anyone. / (Hat) David Franklin/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images; (Hedgehog) Digital Zoo/DigitalVision/Getty Images

The people who called animal control on a “tree beast” that turned out to be a croissant finally have some competition for the “strangest case of animal-related mistaken identity” award. 

Last week, as the BBC reports, a woman arrived at the Lower Moss Wood Nature Reserve and Wildlife Hospital in Cheshire, England, with what appeared to be a baby hedgehog in poor health. 

She’d found it on the side of the road the day before and “didn’t handle it at all,” resident veterinarian Janet Kotze told The Independent. “She scooped it in a box with some cat food and left it alone in a warm, dark place. She did everything so well. She barely peeked at it because she didn’t want to stress it out.”

But after a whole night with no signs of life from the hoglet, the woman determined that something must be very wrong. And she was right about that.

Kotze realized what the issue was as soon as she opened the box. “I went back out and explained, ‘I’m sorry it’s just a bobble,’” she said. The gray, spiky pom-pom had evidently fallen off someone’s hat.

The woman, whom Kotze described as “well-spoken and well-meaning” with “a heart of gold,” expressed surprise and “grabbed the box and left.” 

“This adorable ‘hoglet’ still got all the love, complete with some cozy TLC. Remember, kindness knows no bounds, even when it’s to a faux furry friend!” the wildlife hospital said on Facebook. “Maybe we can name this new species ‘Hedgebobbles.’”

The Good Samaritan really had done everything she was supposed to do: The Wildlife Trusts advises “gently scooping” a rescued hedgehog into a box lined with newspaper, providing it with “meaty cat or dog food,” and leaving it in a “quiet, warm place.” Should she ever happen upon a real hedgehog that needs help, it will be a lucky one.

And to whoever lost a hat pom-pom on the side of the road in Cheshire, don’t worry—it’s doing really well.

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