The South African Hedgehog is a protected species in South Africa. It is illegal to keep them as pets. Permits are required to own, possess, restrain, hunt, sell, trade, import, export, transport, donate or release a Southern African Hedgehog. Besides, hedgehogs are carriers of zoonotic disease. The nature of the spines covering their body provide an opportune breeding site for ticks, fleas
and other organisms.
Hedgehogs have often been referred to as an eco-friendly form of pest control. They are omnivorous, where invertebrates (such as beetles, earwigs, grasshoppers, termites, slugs, snails, centipedes, moths and earthworms) form the bulk of the diet, but they also consume eggs, mice, lizards, fungus and even dog food.
Their numbers are declining due to pesticide usage, electrocution on game fences, urbanisation (electric fences, predation by domestic pets, restricted movement, pools and road related mortality - especially after the first rains when they feed on insects attracted to the heat of the roads at night), veld fires and ongoing illegal harvesting for the pet trade, bush meat ( a delicacy food source in some African Cultures), curios (spines) and traditional medicine trade.
Another threat, born out of good intention, is that residents discover a Southern African Hedgehog and
assume that it must be lost and/or injured. These animals are then taken away to rehabilitation centres or relocated out of the area. Southern African Hedgehogs are one of a
few urban-living species that occupy open areas in our cities and one which we can help to thrive as a resident in
the community. Any removal from nature, relocation or keeping Southern AfricanHedgehogs as pets should be actively discouraged.
Southern African Hedgehogs are also a common character in African cultural stories and for some are
considered good luck.
Barcode Series. Our wildlife has value: the function they perform in the wild. Conserve. Preserve.
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