'World's fattest hedgehog' placed on diet and exercise regime

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HedgehogImage source, New Arc
Image caption,
Arbuckle could hardly walk after over-eating
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A hedgehog which it is thought could be the world's fattest has been placed on a strict diet and exercise regime.

Weighing in at 2.335kg (5lbs) - about four times the size of a normal hedgehog - it was handed in to a rescue centre in Aberdeenshire.

Now named Arbuckle, the hedgehog could barely walk or form a defensive ball.

Keith Marley, of The New Arc Animal Rescue Centre, near Ellon, said: "He's about the size of a World Cup football, after overfeeding."

Image source, New Arc
Image source, New Arc

Mr Marley said it was the heaviest hedgehog they could find a record of.

He told the BBC Scotland news website: "We were really surprised by his size and weight, as the average is about 600g.

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"The person who contacted us said he was feeding hedgehogs but this one stayed and refused to go - this may well have been due to the fact he could hardly walk.

"He will be fed a restricted diet which is filling, and scatter his food around for exercise. It will be a long, gradual process."

Image source, New Arc
Image caption,
The hedgehog's weight shocked rescue staff

Mr Marley added: "He will be grumpy for a while but we're being cruel to be kind. There is no way he would survive in the wild."

In 2016, an overweight hedgehog nicknamed Mr Piggywinkle was put on a diet at an animal rescue centre in Wiltshire.

The 1.8kg (4lb) hedgehog piled on the pounds after being hand-reared on a diet of dog food and mealworms.

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