Bear the hedgehog not so bare anymore as spines return
A poorly hedgehog who lost his spines and hair to a mite infestation is well on the road to recovery, with his prickles successfully growing back.
Daily massages and treatment with aloe vera have helped Bear, as the sorry-looking creature was christened by his carers at the Cuan Wildlife Rescue centre when he was brought to them in January.
Centre manager Fran Hill said Bear could be back to his spiny self and out in the wild this summer depending on the quality of the weather.
WATCH: Hedgehog massaged back to health
Bear was brought to the centre near Much Wenlock by a worried woman who had found him in her garden in Madeley, Telford.
A mite infestation and the resulting infection and stress were the probable cause of his ailment, but now after more than a month of treatment he is beginning to resemble a healthy hedgehog again with encouraging signs of growth.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Fran.
"My massaging fingers need a rest.
"He isn't having massages any more because that would be quite painful. He is still having the occasional bath because his skin was was so exposed for so long it had got a little damaged.
"He is doing well, eating well. I am hoping once the weather improves a little bit he will be able to go out."
Fran, who normally looks after birds at the centre but took Bear into her care as a special case, said it made a nice change to have a resident of the four-legged variety to look after.
Megan Morris-Jones, who founded the rescue centre almost 30 years ago, has stepped down but still offers help to some animals at her home.
Fran said Bear could continue some of his rehabilitation there, in a more natural environment.
She said: "He's going to go there to make sure he's doing all of the hedgehoggy things he should be doing, like catching his own worms.
"For a while he has had everything handed to him on a silver plate.
"We have to make sure he's ready before he goes back out there. The temperature is dropping a little and that is holding us up a bit."
She said Bear will probably be ready to return to the wild in May or June.