Have you ever seen a hedgehog before? If you run across forests and deserts you`ll see these tiny creatures running in the wild. However, not all of them look alike. Most of these prickly pincushions have evolved their defense mechanism with sharp spikes. This makes it nearly impossible to prey on them.
That is why they are not easy to hunt down and be preyed upon. More often you`ll see them roaming around the street looking like a ball of pins. What keeps them safe from potential predators is the mere sight of their dangerous spikes. Despite that some other animals eat hedgehogs. This includes hawks, snakes, humans and other types of carnivores. They can potentially hunt the hedgehogs down to prey upon them.
5 Most Dangerous Predators Of Hedgehogs
Every animal out there is hunted down by some predator. The same is the case with hedgehogs. Some of those predators are nocturnal. Hedgehogs sometimes tender their nocturnal traits. If you want to keep hedgehogs as a pet you must know how to keep them safe from other predators. This will help you in taking certain measures while they can enjoy their freedom too.
Domestic animals such as dogs prey upon them because of their natural instincts. They tend to find a soft spot for which they attack hedgehogs and kill them. The question is how do they do that? Well, one thing we know for sure is that hedgehogs have a strong sense of incoming attack.
Whenever they sense something they roll up in a ball shape with their spikes outward. This makes it difficult for the attacker to find a soft spot. Sometimes their attacker gets deep cuts due to the spikes. Wild dogs, jackals, and domestic pets usually find a soft spot. They search for their weak spot by sniffing around the end parts where hedgehogs meet as a ball.
They force the hedgehog to open itself and they grab them at the right moment from unfolding position with the spikes inward and eat them all.
Apart from the wild dogs, badgers are one of the strongest animals amongst hedgehog hunters. Badgers have started hunting them down because of their hunger. They are strong enough to uncurl them even in their defensive mode. Unlike the canines the badgers are ought to have fewer bruises and injuries from hedgehog spikes.
If we look at their history they are a danger to the lives of hedgehogs. Despite this fact badgers and hedgehogs have lived in the same habitat for quite a long time. They were coexisting and competing for the same needs as each other.
Hedgehogs tend to find a suitable hiding place among the trees. So they are easily protected from predators in the wild. However they are forced to prey upon the hedgehogs due to climatic changes, deforestation and other environmental factors.
Amongst the hedgehog`s predators, the ferrets are known to be the most vicious carnivore. People usually keep them as a pet in a domestic setting. Their teeth are strong enough to rip off the neck turkey neck into nothingness.
They are wild hunters. Be it a rabbit or a wild goose chase they run after their prey and hunt them down in a manner of minutes. Although sometimes even experienced and fully developed adult hedgehog becomes competition for them.
Sometimes they might succeed in their battle against ferrets. Bit young hedgehogs don`t stand a chance against them.
The most popular species of mongoose that hunt down hedgehogs are the Indian Mongooses. Mongooses are known for killing the cobras and eating poisonous snakes. That makes it easier to attack little creatures. Even with the spiky protective shield of hedgehogs the Indian mongooses tend to find a way to kill them in a single go.
They attack by throwing them against a hard surface forcing the hedgehog to unfold. Then they go for the soft underbelly due to their sheer strength and intelligence. Hence they are a great threat to the perseverance of hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs hide under trees, and they sometimes climb up to protect themselves from any harm they sense beforehand. Foxes are passionate enough to kill their prey even if they have to climb up a tree or find another way.
However they is no match for the adult hedgehogs. They tend to hunt the younger ones or the ones that are sick and wounded. Foxes are cunning and sharp and because of this they can easily adapt to any situation out there.
How to help save hedgehogs?
As per research, hedgehog`s population has declined by a third in 10 years. The reason for their dropping number is deforestation, climatic changes and increased number of pesticide usage. However, some steps will be useful in the preservation of their species.
Hedgehogs tend to look for shady places such as tree hedges. It is to hide themself. However, if you want to keep them as a pet then you can get them a house. It might surprise you but there are various options from rectangular boxes to dome-shaped ones.
Bring them food regularly.
Hedgehogs are insectivores and they search for them in the wild. They prey upon slugs, snails, caterpillars etc. Besides getting them top-up meals will help them preserve some fat to get through the winters. Meanwhile if you look online you`ll find plenty of food mixes for them. That way they won`t have to come out for food. This will keep them safe from predators.
Creating hedgehog highways
You can also make them a fence that connects with the gardens. This will let them roam freely whenever they go in search of food or to hunt. Besides large piles are also helpful as they could hibernate in them. It also helps them to catch insects as insects are more attracted to the pile.
While hedgehogs live in the wild they do have many nocturnal natural predators. Adult hedgehogs can fight back hard whereas young ones don`t stand a chance against the canines. However, you can help in various ways to save them by making them a house or bridge. You can also provide them with some food and this way you`ll protect them from predators.