Well who would have believed it!! Look what we found in the pool the other day. A Long-eared Hedgehog!!
We have been coming to Cyprus for years before moving here and didn’t even know Cyprus had hedgehogs let alone long-eared ones, also we had never heard anyone ever mention them to us. We had of course heard of all the usual things like snakes, cockroaches and praying mantises and even large spiders but no one had ever mentioned hedgehogs.
It was time for me to a bit of investigating to find out a bit more about them.
I discovered they were native to these countries – Afghanistan, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
This species of hedgehog is considered one of the smallest middle eastern hedgehogs and is insectivorous but may also feed on small vertebrates and plants as well as eggs, fruit, seeds and carrion. It is also able to survive without food or water for up to ten weeks .
The long-eared hedgehog inhabits a few different types of dry steppes, semi-deserts and deserts. It prefers dry river valleys, gullies, forest shelter belts, abandoned irrigation ditches and shrubby areas, and often settles in oases and around human settlements (sometimes in cultivated habitats). They live in burrows that they dig under bushed with a length of 45 cm long with only one opening. They may also inhabit abandoned burrows of other small mammals. They are nocturnal solitary hedgehogs. During the day they are found resting under rocks, hollows or rock piles.
In captivity they may live as long as 7.6 years.
Who knows this could be my next pet !!