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ITN - Wednesday, November 14 02:03 pm
A football-sized hedgehog weighing a whopping 2.2kgs (5.94lbs) has been put on a strict diet and exercise programme by an animal charity.

George has been causing a bit of a stir at Surrey-based Wildlife Aid since he was found along with another hedgehog, which staff have named Mildred.
Discovered by one of the centre's volunteers in the garden of some friends, George was initially thought to be suffering from a condition called ballooning - when air gets trapped under the skin and causes the animal to inflate.
But when he was weighed, staff were gobsmacked to find his weight was nearly four times the average 600-700g that most hedgehogs weigh.
Despite being fairly active, the excess pounds are affecting his health and could, like humans, cause obesity-related illnesses such as heart disease, high cholesterol levels and joint and mobility problems.
His weight is also resulting in other problems. George has failed to go into hibernation for the winter as the excess pounds mean he can't feel the cold which triggers the sleep process.
He has now been put on a strict diet of catfood, which contains all the correct nutrients needed for a healthy hedgehog and is akin to the Atkins diet.
Wildlife Aid - www.wildlifeaid.com - currently has 60 hedgehogs at the centre in Leatherhead. Some are sick or injured, and are being nursed back to health.
Many are youngsters, born a little late in the year to successfully survive hibernation as their weight is too low are being cared by staff at the centre, and will be re-homed next spring into the gardens of Wildlife Aid members.


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