An overweight albino hedgehog has been put on a diet and exercise programme by staff at the Tiggywinkles wildlife hospital in Buckinghamshire in the UK.
The hedgehog, named Snowball, arrived at the hospital weighing in at 1.5kg, apparently from feasting on too much dog food left outside at night by nature-lovers.
In a bid to reduce Snowball’s weight to a healthier one kilogramme, he is undergoing daily swimming sessions in the centre’s hydrotherapy unit, a Jacuzzi donated by British TV presenter Philippa Forrester.
Staff have also put him on a strict regime of kitten biscuits.
Tiggywinkles’ founder Les Stocker said: “He was very, very fat. Hedgehogs just eat and eat and eat. If they have got food there, they will eat the lot.
“We may let him hibernate because that will help him lose weight. He’s got enough fat to survive hibernation and that might be the answer.”
Despite his albinism, which makes him vulnerable to predators, it is hoped Snowball will be released from the hospital in the summer, into a protected area where he will be monitored.