National Hedgehog Day Date in the current year: February 2, 2023

National Hedgehog Day Hedgehogs are one of the cutest and most recognizable animals, so it is not surprising that they have their own holiday, albeit an unofficial one. National Hedgehog Day is celebrated annually on February 2.

Hedgehogs are small spiny animals that make up the subfamily Erinaceinae. The seventeen living species of the hedgehog are native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. There are no hedgehog species native to Australia, and hedgehogs native to North America have gone extinct. Hedgehogs have been introduced to New Zealand, where they are considered pests.

The most characteristic feature that makes hedgehogs easily recognizable is their spines, which are essentially stiff hairs. Hedgehog spines aren’t barbed or poisonous, and they don’t normally easily detach from their bodies. Spines may shed when the hedgehog is extremely stressed or sick, or when a baby hedgehog’s soft spines are replaced with stiff adult spines (this process is called quilling).

Hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal animals, but some can be active during the day as well. They are omnivorous and can feed on a variety of foods, including berries, bird eggs, carrion, frogs and toads, grass roots, insects, melons and watermelons, mushrooms, snails, and snakes. All hedgehogs living in the wild can hibernate, although they don’t always do if there is plenty of food and the weather is warm.

As with many small mammals, hedgehogs are used to living side by side with humans. Sadly, this means that these cute little creatures are often run over by cars. Some hedgehog species have been domesticated and may be kept as pets. They include the long-eared hedgehog, the Indian long-eared hedgehog, and hybrids of the North African hedgehog and the four-toed hedgehog or white-bellied hedgehog.

As we’ve already mentioned above, hedgehogs are considered invasive species in areas where they have been introduced such as New Zealand. They prey on native animals (insects, lizards, small ground-nesting birds and snails), as well as breed uncontrollably due to a lack of their natural predators (badgers, ferrets, foxes, mongooses, owls, and wolves).

The origins of National Hedgehog Day are unclear, and the holiday itself isn’t particularly well-known because it tends to be overshadowed by Groundhog Day that has the same date. This is why you absolutely should celebrate this amazing holiday and let others know about it so that they can celebrate it too!

There are plenty of ways to observe National Hedgehog Day. You can learn interesting facts about hedgehogs and share them with anyone who is willing to listen, read a book or watch a movie featuring hedgehogs, play Sonic the Hedgehog, donate, to your local wildlife rescue that helps hedgehogs, make your garden or backyard hedgehog safe, and post about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #NationalHedgehogDay and #HedgehogDay.

You can also consider adopting a hedgehog as a pet, but only after doing extensive research and being 100% sure that keeping hedgehogs as pets is legal where you live and that you can take good care of your little spiny friend.

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Category

Ecological Observances, Unofficial Holidays

Country

USA

Tags

National Hedgehog Day, environmental observances, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, hedgehogs