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Hedgehog self-anointing with an otter spaint?

A recent check of a camera-trap set to record otters under a bridge revealed some interesting hedgehog behaviour. The hedgehogs were appearing on a regular basis through the very dry summer, the otters less so. It appears that one of the spiky visitors may have been "self -anointing" after chomping on otter spraint (faeces).


On 24th July:

then on 3rd August:



Self-anointing is a well recognised hedgehog behaviour in which they chew on substances such as aromatic plants, mildly toxic material, faeces of other animals, soap and tobacco causing them to salivate. They then lick, spreading saliva over their spines, often rolling onto their backs to do so. Why they should do this is a mystery but it might be an attempt to hide their sent from predators or as a means of repelling the ticks and fleas that so often afflict hedgehogs.









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