This is my new friend P7200127

P7200127, originally uploaded by fuzzyslowmo.
I snapped this adorable little critter last week just outside my fence. These spiny mammals are nocturnal and insectivorous. The hairs are made of stiff hollow keratin. I took several pictures. This one was the most focused as it responded to my camera flash by rolling into a ball and a quick getaway. Hedgehogs are useful as pest control in some European regions. People even keep them as pets! They have no natural predators in New Zealand and have become overpopulated by feeding on native insects, snails, lizards and bird eggs.

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