Hedgehogs can be some of the fiercest foragers around when it comes to food

Hedgehogs can be some of the fiercest foragers around when it comes to food

Hedgehogs are often considered to be gentle creatures, despite their spiky exterior.

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However, a recent study has found that when it comes to finding food, they can be some of the fiercest foragers around.

The study observed hundreds of hours of footage submitted to BBC’s Springwatch program after the food was left out for animals.

The footage revealed that hedgehogs were not afraid to fight dirty to get their hands on some grub.

They were filmed using a ‘barge and roll’ move, in which one hedgehog forces another to curl up before rolling it away from the food.

In one instance, a hedgehog even rolled a rival into a pond.

The study, which was published in the journal Animals, looked at the skirmishes between badgers, foxes, cats, and hedgehogs, and found that badgers won the most battles overall.

However, hedgehogs stood up well to cats, winning 39% of the battles and losing only 11%.

They were also found to be the species most likely to fight each other.

The study leader, Professor Dawn Scott of Nottingham Trent University, noted that cats were more successful in their confrontations with foxes, winning 44% of the time.

When cats encountered hedgehogs, they usually ran off without putting up a fight.

Badgers, strong enough to unroll a curled-up hedgehog and eat it without being skewered, won most fights against other species.

The study also revealed that cats and foxes often had aggressive or defensive reactions to one another, with more than three-quarters of their interactions sparking some form of conflict.

When hedgehogs encountered cats, they won 39% of the time, while cats won less than 11% of the time.

Within the same species, hedgehogs were found to be the most combative, with more than half of their interactions leading to some form of aggression.

Hedgehogs are particularly reliant on food in gardens as they need to fatten up before hibernation.

The study suggested that people who feed animals should leave out healthy food designed for wildlife and scatter it in different places at different times to prevent the food supply from becoming predictable.

This will also reduce the likelihood of animals coming to the same place at the same time.

The study did not look at cats fighting each other, and more research is needed as the videos submitted to the study may have been the most dramatic interactions between animals.

The study highlights the fierce nature of hedgehogs and their determination to find food, even if it means fighting dirty against other animals.

»Hedgehogs can be some of the fiercest foragers around when it comes to food«

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