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Saturday, September 29, 2007

ORPHANED HEDGEHOGS ADOPT BRUSH MOTHER




Four tiny orpahned hedgehogs are snuggling up to the bristles of a cleaning brush - because they think it's their mother.

The four inch long creatures are being hand-reared by staff at the New Forest Otter, Owl and Wildlife Park in Ashurst, Hants.

Workers say Mary, Mungo, Midge and Slappy get comfort from playing with the centre's cleaning brush and enjoy rubbing against it.

Daft as a brush: These orphaned hedgehogs snuggle up to thier adoptive brush mother
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The smells on the brush, which is used to sweep a yard, remind the hedgehogs of their natural habitat while the texture reminds them of their mother.

Manager John Crooks, 41, said: "They are a bit like human babies - they need activities to keep them busy.

"Because they have very poor eyesight you have to appeal to their sense of smell and touch by giving them different scents and textures.

"They like natural scents and have enjoyed playing with our cleaning brushes, soil, leaves, flower pots and the like.

"They particularly seem to enjoy rubbing against the brush.

"It may sound odd but I imagine the bristles feel a bit like their mum."

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