Animals Video

By David Keane


A bully hedgehog has been caught on camera terrorising other males by waging six-minute wars to fend off rivals from his food – and even deliberately pushing another in a pond.

Andrew Ellis set up cameras in his garden in Warrington, Cheshire, to capture what wildlife got up to when he wasn’t looking after noticing some of the hedgehogs had unusual injuries.

Footage shows one large male hedgehog, who has earned the nickname Big Foot, fly into a rage and repeatedly charge, bite and thrown around his rival six minutes, despite there being two food bowls.

Eventually, the thuggish Big Foot emerges victorious and begins eating, only for his rival to then to help himself from the second food dish of hedgehog pellets.

When an unsuspecting third male arrives on the scene, the bully immediately charges him too – pushing him around before leaving him curled in a ball in fear.

Most amusingly, Big Foot is even later caught on camera pushing another rival into the nearby pond when he took offence to his presence.

Andrew, who volunteers at a nearby hedgehog shelter, said: “It was so funny watching this very aggressive hedgehog have such a long fight with a rival and then once everything had calmed down another one turns up. Straight away he was like ‘you can have one as well’ and went right for
him.

“It’s not unusual to see males have stand-offs with each other but what is unusual is to see two go at it with each other and not back down like this.

“One would usually curl up in a ball and let the other one get on with it. However that didn’t happen here. Both decided to go for it and it was a very brutal fight, as you can see from the footage.

“They had a real argy-bargy over it. However what is funny to see is how this angry hedgehog then spots another coming along and goes at him too. The third hedgehog reacts much more normally – he curls up in a ball and waits for the aggressive one to leave. He clearly decided he didn’t want any trouble.

“That particular hedgehog is a real bruiser. He’s quite the thug. We have nicknamed him Big Foot as he is very large and appears to have unusually large paws.

“We even saw him push another hedgehog into the pond the other day and gave him an unexpected swim.

“He is quite a character and very aggressive. He has probably not long been up from hibernating and is just marking his territory.

“Everyone thinks the footage is hilarious. They have all had a good laugh at the way this particular hedgehog is – they think he’s is a real character.”

Andrew, who also runs a ‘hogbulance’ to rescue injured hedgehogs, leave pellets specifically designed for wild hedgehogs in the bowls.

The NHS engineer said: “”Male hedgehogs have their mind on one thing at this time of year and when they wake up from hibernation they come out to

“The footage helps explain some of the injuries we see on the hedgehogs that we rescue. We always saw these injuries and wondered where they got them and this shows it could sometimes be from rivals rather than predators.”