When Wally Met the Cutest New Member of Jenk’s Aquarium
And now for a warm, fuzzy.....and prickly story.
Meet Spike, who is now residing in Point Pleasant Beach at Jenkinson's Aquarium!
Spike is a male African pygmy hedgehog, also known as a four-toed hedgehog, and the aquarium brought him in to be part of their animal ambassador program.
This adorable animal will be brought out occasionally for you to see once the aquarium reopens to the public and Spike will also be involved in their Habitat Ooutreach Program as well as their summer camps.
Spike is about a year-and-a-half old and, in case you were wondering if you can pet a hedgehog, the answer is...yes!
Cindy Claus, who runs Jenkinson's Aquarium, says that typically when a hedgehog gets used to you it will let its quills flatten while you hold it so that you don't feel the spikes.
A hedgegod's spikes are their defense, so initially they will roll into a tight ball and put their quills up to protect themselves.
So what's the difference between a hedgehog and a porcupine? Well, although they both have quills, they are actually not related. Porcupines are more closely related to rats, mice and beavers, while hedgehogs are closely related to shrews and moles.
Hedgehogs are carnivores, so they eat mostly insects, while porcupines are vegetarians and eat fruits and leaves, grass and stems.
I was surprised to hear that hedgehogs do make good pets! In fact, hedgehogs are a lot like sloths in two ways: They are solitary, meaning they don't necessarily want or need to live with a companion, and they are nocturnal, which means their best and liveliest moments are likely happening when you are sleeping the night away!
But if you wanted to get a hedgehog as a pet, you would need an Individual Hobby Permit through the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife...but the fee is only $10 for that permit.
Jenk's Aquarium actually acquired Spike this past November as a donation, and we are so happy he is there and are hoping we can do a Boardwalk show from Jenk's this summer so that you can meet him while we are there!
You can follow Jenkinson's Aquarium HERE or on Instagram.
But seriously the cutest image of the day, week, month and year:
When Wally the Sloth met Spike the Hedgehog!