Our hedgehog residents are usually not aggressive in any way, even when they are in pain.
The odd hog will utter a few indignant snorts at most if we are annoying them. Tucker was different.
He was admitted to us last autumn and, as he was too skinny to release, he spent the winter with us. Tucker was very feisty. As you opened his cage to clean it out, he would launch himself at you at speed, without warning.
At best, he would make you jump and, at worst, his spines would give you a nasty jab through your gloves.
We got used to him and would approach as silently as possible, but he was always ready for us.
We had to use distraction techniques, ie, rustling his bedding in one area while putting our hand gingerly in the other side to do what we needed to do.
Unsuspecting new volunteers regularly got the fright of their lives from Tucker. Even when he should have been hibernating, Tucker was still ready for us.
We weren’t fooled by that seemingly unmoving pile of bedding because underneath, Tucker was lurking!
Tucker was released in the spring of 2016 and we like to think he is causing mayhem out in the wild.
He is memorialised in our work area by a fridge magnet: ‘Don’t mess with Tucker’ and we often chuckle when we think of him.
l Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust is one of two beneficiaries of this year’s Jam Jar Army campaign.