I have just had a moment, possibly indicative of senior ones to come, when I tried to check online for more updated information on a subject about which I had written, only to find all the references were to my writings about the subject … which makes me fear I might have made it all up.

And if it were not for the photographs I took at the 2007 Rocky Mountain Hedgehog Show in Denver, Colorado, I might be even more befuddled. But the photographs tell me that I was there and I did witness the International Hedgehog Olympic Games.

In fact, here are a few:

The reason I am back in the world of hedgehog shows is twofold – I am in the middle of writing a book about the iconography of hedgehogs for Reaktion and there is a chapter on domestication. So I wanted to see how things were doing in the amazing world of hedgehog-petdom in the USA. The other reason is that the latest show is about to begin, so if you find yourself within spitting distance of the Double Tree Hotel in Denver, get yourself to the Show.

One thing that did amaze me was the detail with which those who assess the ‘quality’ of hedgehogs on show have gone. The International Hedgehog Association now recognises 92 colour varieties! Salt and pepper, cinnamon, apricot, chocolate … the hedgehogs all begin to sound quite appetising.

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More than 27,000 animals are now the legal custody of the city of Arlington, Texas, following their seizure fromĀ U.S Global Exotics following a judgement on the 30th January.

I have been kept in touch with the goings on in Arlington, Texas, thanks to the wonderful folk at the Hedgehog Welfare Society, as well as friends on Facebook.

Just over three weeks ago I posted the story – about the company U.S Global Exotics and its exposure as a desperately cruel enterprise thanks to the enterprising investigations of an undercover operative from PETA.

And now, homes are being sought for the 600 or so hedgehogs. One of my facebook friends (Vicki McLean) is on her way to Texas to get as many as she can and help re-home them. She has already been busy helping care for them.

Yet again, I admire the dedication that hedgehogs attract – whether it is the amazing hedgehog and wildlife rehabilitators here in the UK, or those who expend enormous resources on vulnerable hedgehogs in the alien space of the USA.

Why do hedgehogs attract such love and attention? Partly it is because they are the only wild animal that we can easily nurture – they ‘allow’ us by dint of their behaviour when threatened to care for them. But there is something else (other than the fact that they are darn cute) – and that is the gateway they provide to a touch of the wild. So this is my concern about the domestication of the hedgehog. What makes a hedgehog so special is its wild heart … so please – when these ones are rescued – can some thought be given to allowing them to keep what makes them so very very special.