Featured Image Credit: Oregon Zoo
By: Kira Krall
Arizona just got a whole lot cuter! Twin African pygmy hedgehogs affectionately dubbed “Harley Quinn” and “Poker” are now just a few months old. They are well on their way to becoming full-time animal ambassadors for the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium, and Safari park. Staff regularly handle the animals to acquaint them with being in the spotlight. The twins will help raise awareness for their species and change the perception that all hedgehogs are is cute! Their wild counterparts are known for taking down and eating scorpions and venomous snakes.
Hedgehogs are known for their firm yet flexible spines. No, we’re not talking about their backbones! The growth on their backs are often referred to as “quills” but are actually hollow hairs tipped with keratin. To make life easier for mama hedgehogs, baby hedgehogs don’t grow their spines until a few hours after birth.
African pygmy hedgehogs are a domesticated species frequently kept as pets. However, high demand for these animals puts pressure on wild populations. Breeding them in-house will reduce some of that pressure and get people up close with these animals without having to keep one of their own. These high-maintenance nocturnal mammals require intensive daily care and Sub-Saharan weather to feel at home.
Watch Harley Quinn and Poker do their thing and eat lots of worms here!