If you ever go to New Zealand and walk around at night, there is a good chance you’ll stumble across a spiky little brown ball at some point. In New Zealand hedgehogs are considered an invasive species, but they are so darn cute. They’re fairly docile animals so you can usually pick them up. We happened to have a resident “hedgehog whisperer” on our trip who knew all about safe ways to handle them.
Basically they’re going to spike up when you pick them up as a natural defense mechanism. And let me tell you, it is VERY painful to hold them when they’re spiky. But if you just set them down on your lap or hold them gently from the underside and stroke their quills most of them calm down and will just sit with you.They really are adorable little animals. If flipped onto their back, they curl up into a tight little ball to protect their middle with just their face poking out.
So tonight, our second to last night in New Zealand, we found our third hedgehog of the trip. He (we checked) was young so he was small and very calm. He sat with us for over 45 minutes and let people hold him and pet him. We let him sit on our laps or wander on the floor and he really was a cutie. We took to calling him “little man”.
But at the end of the night we had to take him back outside and let Little Man scurry back into the bushes. It was a privilege to get to spend time with him and I will forever have a hedgehog shaped hole in my heart after this trip.