What you need to know about pet hedgehogs

June 2, 2014 5:26 AM

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GARDNER, Mass. (AP) — A growing number of American homes are keeping African pygmy hedgehogs as pets. Here are some questions and answers about the small animals whose backs and sides are covered with about 6,000 quills that are considerably shorter, but harder and sharper, than those of a porcupine.

The breed is a hybrid of the four-toed hedgehog or African white-bellied hedgehog and the Algerian hedgehog. The scientific name is Atelerix albiventris. Its natural habitat is central, eastern and southern Africa. It is now illegal to import them into the United States, meaning the current breeding...

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