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Spineless and unloved: Abandoned hedgehog will never find mate because she has no bristles


Having a ball: Betty the hedgehog, who was abandoned by her family because she does not have any spikes

A rescued baby hedgehog will never be able to attract a mate because of a mystery skin condition which has left her completely bald and without spines.

Betty was abandoned by her family before she was found by a member of the public and handed in to staff at an animal rescue centre.

Animal experts are baffled by her mystery skin condition, which has caused the lonely hedgehog's skin to become dry and left her without any spines.

Unlucky in love: Betty is being snubbed by the male hedgehogs because of her skin condition

Six-week-old Betty is now so scared of other hedgehogs that staff at the animal sanctuary believe she will never find a mate.

However, she cannot be returned to the wild because her lack of spines means she would be unable to defend herself against predators such as badgers and foxes.

Tonia and John Garner, 47 and 52, who run Foxy Lodge rescue centre, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, revealed Betty will endure a lonely life unless her spines return.

Mum-of-one Tonia said: 'She's healthy and everything is absolutely fine apart from she doesn't have any spines.

Helping hands: Betty is being cared for by Toni Garner at her rescue centre near Great Yarmouth

'It's very sad because she cannot protect herself. She rolls up in a little ball but because she doesn't have the spines she is easy meat for any predator.

'We won't let Betty be with alone with the males. She is very frightened of being near other hedgehogs and any offspring could have the same genetic condition.

'We keep her alone in an enclosure indoors and I mix almond oil and tea tree oil to put on her back sometimes because her skin can get very dry.

'We have to keep her out of the sun because she can burn up as her skin is very sensitive. We just hope the spines will return so she can have a normal life.'

source: dailymail