Place of Birth:

AFRICA and SOUTHERN EUROPE: They are naturally found throughout large areas of Europe, (including the British Isles) and Africa.  They have been introduced into some of the islands off the African coast and New Zealand.  There are 14 known species of hedgehogs.

Eating Habits:

Hedgehogs are primarily insectivores. They rely on their acute hearing and sense of smell to locate and catch their prey.  They can hear and smell a worm 3cms below the ground. Hedgehogs also eat beetles, caterpillars, earwigs, slugs, snails, spiders, flies and a host of other small creatures.

Quick Facts:

Scientific  Name Atelerix albiventris (four-toed Hedgehog)
Size The Hedgehog will grow 7 to 9 inches long and reach 1 -2 pounds.
Color Color variations include brown, black, cream, gray, and even albino.
Lifespan Up to 7 years in the wild and 10 years in captivity.
Eco Status Least Concern – The population is stable.


Hedgehogs inhabit a wide range across a variety of climates and terrains. They must have dry shelters on well-drained soil and a good supply of ground-dwelling insects and other invertebrates. Hedgehogs are reported to be abundant in Suburban Nairobi, which meets these habitat conditions.

Animal’s Behaviour

Hedgehogs are mammals that have been around for millions of years. A hedgehog’s most distinctive trait is their quills. Quills are sharp hollow hairs that are used as a defense. When threatened, a hedgehog is able to curl up into a ball with its quills extended. The quills usually have white tips with brown bands and act as camouflage. Hedgehogs are nocturnal and spend most of the day sleeping and become active at dusk. Most of the night is spent foraging for food and taking short naps. A hedgehog can travel between 1 and 3 miles nightly and can actually run quite fast (nearly 2mph). Their home range is
 yards from its nest. Hedgehogs are surprisingly good climbers, can swim fairly well and are capable of squeezing through extraordinarily small holes. Most baby hedgehogs are born in May, June and July, They are solitary creatures and live alone. Hedgehogs hibernate starting in late November.  A hedgehog deep in hibernation can easily be mistaken for dead since it will be very cold and still, and may not breathe for long periods.