Human Head Cloned From Hedgehogs!


OK, no.  Not really.  But I just spotted this story on the Christian Science Monitor yesterday, belatedly.  The dude’s an Englishman by the name of Les Stocker, wildlife rehabilitator & photographer strawdinaire, and as you can see, he’s made ENTIRELY OF HEDGEHOGS.  Not really.  Well actually, yes he is.  Because otherwise it’d be like cuddling sea urchins, eh?  So he must be.

Its_good_ere_ent_it_1From the article text:

"Inside row upon row of rolled-up pastel towels, small, thorny creatures are snoozing. It’s mid-morning after all, and hedgehogs simply do not like to rise before dusk.            

"This isn’t a hedgehog spa, nor a fantastical Beatrix Potter tale. This is St. Tiggywinkles – a wildlife hospital. It’s where 500 hedgehogs are served meals in bed every day in the hope they’ll put on enough weight to survive the winter.

"It is also a place with a royal stink."

Click the photos to visit!



  1. First, sugar gliders with earthworms attached to their bottoms. Now, hedgehogs with human heads attached to, well, wherever there’s a soft spot.

  2. Emily Anonymous says:

    Yeah, Hedgies I remeber Mortimer and Rosie well, my own hedgehogs. Cute little guys…I love the sound they make when crunching bugs.

  3. 500 hedgehogs??? Wow!!! I want the job of feeding them everyday!!! That would really put me in cuteness heaven!!!

    A hedgehog feeder…that would surely beat just about any other job I can think of.

  4. I love the squirrel and hedgehog pic. Squirrel is all, “Hey dude, what’s up? How’s your arm?”

  5. Brinnann — VERY sneaky.

  6. i see a hedgehog with glasses.

    oh, wait…

  7. Why, Theo, whatever do you mean? *Has the audacity to look shocked.*

  8. vivian calloway says:

    that is so sweet! i want a hedge cuddle fest next to my face!

  9. Noel… A hedgehog feeder isn’t a bad job, but remember you’re feeding them mealworms, crickets and other yummy crunchy bugs. My Sonic and Alex looooved summer grasshoppers.

  10. St Tiggywinkles? Best name evah. ‘Cept maybe if it was called Dinsdale’s.

  11. Ohhh the hedgehogs are so cute! And you know what’s weird? I’ve been to St Tiggywinkles! I took an injured pigeon there once. (No, really.)

  12. Helping little creatures. What a sweet fulfilling job that must be.

  13. Hedgies have such tiny leetle feetsies, I can just imagine what it feels like to have them wriggling all over you.

  14. they remind me of chocolate cupcakes

  15. There is some super cute interspecies action in one of those photos!!! I love squirrels!

  16. Chocolate cupcakes with those sweet sprinkles on them.

  17. I hope the one vanilla cupcake doesn’t feel out of place. Maybe I should take him home with me, just to be sure. *Gingerly picks up white hedgie and scurries away.*

  18. Haha! I have an idea for new reality show:

    “Cute Factor”

    Can you withstand being fondled and crawled upon by impossibly cute things and live to tell the tale?

  19. DKN, you misspelled it: “live to tell the TAIL.”

  20. i checked out their website. boy what a great service these people are providing for injured british wildlife. three cheers for the brits! hurrah!

  21. Oh, and one of the tasks could be “Who can snorgle the longest.”

  22. Looks like St. Tiggytribbles.

  23. All it takes is one big-hearted man to make a big difference in some animals’ lives. Way to go, Les!

  24. Christian Science monitor?!! *Ugh* Jeebus just sucked all the cuteness out of this story

  25. i’m so tempted to buy a print of the hedge/squirrel snorgle…the bandage on the hedge is unbelievable!

  26. Gha! Brinnann I LOVE it.

    By god there are BADGERS on that site! Ahn!

    Anyone else remember the Frances the Badger series? My personal fave was “Bread and Jam for Frances”!

  27. We used to raise money for St Tiggywinkles at my Junior School. So good to see them on Cute Overload. (Especially now I have a Tiggy of my own.)

  28. Lol, Tina, it does look like St. Tiggytribbles!

    What a great site…and all the pics of widdle hedgies in casts…awwwwwww.

    Les Stocker Photography has some awesome hedgie pics!


  29. DKN, I think we’ve got a hit show on our hands. We should pitch it to some of the larger networks.

  30. Lux,
    We take cuteness wherever it may be found!

  31. Tots, Brinnann.

    Lets think of more rounds…

    1. Snorgle the longest
    2. Being crawled on by cute things (preferably living cute things)
    3. Name all the rules of cute in under 45 seconds while being pelted by stuffed animals.

  32. What’s Tiggytribbles?

  33. Just visited the site and made a quick paypal donation to them— its easy and 2.50 british pounds is just about $5.00 American… pretty painless. 🙂

  34. 4. Quickest time attempting to find your way through a maze without being distracted by Qte.

  35. 5. Deciphering the CO glossary.

  36. DKN, I remember Frances!

    S is for Sailboat,
    T is for Tiger,
    U is for Underwear
    down in the dryer!

    Re #2, are there non-living cute things that crawl? ::ponder::

  37. Ooh! that’s good, B. We would all lose 😉

    More more…phones busy…can’t think!

  38. I so emailed that pic and story in late on Monday. I was bummed to not see it on Cuteoverload. Glad it made it there anyway. The fact that I get no cred does not render the story and pic any less adorable.

  39. Question: Anyone here who’s handled a hedgehog know how prickly they actually are? I mean, the principle is probably the same as when you lie on a bed of nails – you know you’re in contact with a lot of hard pointies at once, and it’s sort of painful, but at the same time you aren’t actually getting hurt.

    (At least, I assume it’s sort of painful. My physics teacher had a mini nail bed and invited people to stand on it. In socks, it was much ow.)

  40. No I guess there aren’t any non-living things that can crawl except for toys maybe…hmmmm…

  41. 6. HA! Trying to multi-task at work while browsing the CO website!

  42. Yubi Shines, as long as you handle them softly, the quills don’t seem to hurt. And yes, it sort of is the same principle as the bed of nails – being closely distributed over a surface makes them much less daunting than individually. Usually, when you’re holding a hedgie they’re kinda curled up, so that helps too.

  43. nermalkitty says:

    brinnan – you must be too young to remember the original Star Trek episode of The Trouble with Tribbles. Cute little furry critters that Uhura went ga ga over while on shore leave. The trouble was they were born pregnant and everything just went downhill from there. Including the creepy klingons.

  44. Oh, Yubi, then you tickle their leetle bellies and forget all about the pricklies against your arm where you’re cradling them.

  45. 7. Coming up with cute captions for photos in some assigned amount of time.

    That would make a good lightning round…

  46. nermalkitty, not sure how old the episode is, but I don’t remember any of them well.

    I’m not sure what show it’s from, may have even been a cartoon, but there were lots of little furry creatures stuck under a plane or aircraft of some sort that had to be removed before take-off.

  47. I hope Theo’s out there somewhere storing our show ideas for publication…

  48. Does this scene remind anyone else of the Tirbble episode on the original Start Trek series? I can’t stop the captain! Theyrrrr everywhere!

  49. nermalkitty says:

    brinnan – seems like i do remember another show like you described. like maybe a twilight zone episode …

  50. I hope so, too, Brinnann! 🙂

  51. Ohhhhh, it’s a HEADge hog.

  52. i just love that the place is called Tiggywinkles:) lol

  53. Why do you suppose they call them hedgehogs? I see very little resemblance to piggies.

  54. Does this mean St. Tiggywinkle is the patron saint of hedgies, or maybe cute critters in general? Or maybe the patron saint of human heads covered in cute critters?

  55. brinnann- could you be thinking of the Fifth Element where they had to remove those round alien things before the plane/spaceship could take off?

  56. shanchan, that’s it! Thanks for the memory jog.

  57. Candace — I saw the story independently; I don’t have access to the CO submissions mailbox. So anyway, y’know, great minds think alike, eh?

  58. Les is one hedgehog shy of having an awesome Princess Leia coiffure.

    Oh how I envy him.

  59. Ahh St Tiggiwinkles. That place is famous in the Uk. They rescue all kinds of wildlife and have had their own tv programs. But they started off rescuing hedgehogs so that’s what they’re mainly known for even now


    They do a great job.

  60. To the reality-show planners: I’d be the Cowell-esque judge. Can’t be helped. Meg would be the Paula Abdul chick, of course, and Randy… um… oh I know! RUFUS would be Randy!
    This could work.

  61. bad kitteh says:

    I’m not even a ‘hedge hog’person but this made me melt.I truly am so grateful that there are other animal lovers out there doing there part to save the little cutenesses of the world.

  62. One more note: the Christian Science Monitor has a *lot* less Jeebus going on than, oh let’s just say f’rinstance, Fox News. CSM has always made an effort to be impartial & centrist.

  63. bad kitteh says:

    there was supposed to be their. I blame cute overload for distracting me 😛

  64. Someone should cuddle sea urchins. Just think – boneless, alone on the beach, making ends meet as fishpockets or by steeling.

  65. Theo – oooh! Yes! “Cute Idol”.

    Rufus: “Arf! You’re in the dogg pound! Arf”

    Meg: “You did your best. I’m a huge fan.”

    Theo: “That was absolutely NOT cute. You must work on your small ear-to-head ratio and next time show more of the eye capsules. That was drivel.”

    Meg: (whacks Theo on the arm) “Shut-up, Theo! Those eye capsules were brilliant!”

  66. Go for it Aubrey. I’ll sit back and watch. *Grabs chocolate pudding.*

  67. The CSM is actual very secular – you can read their explanation here:

    Am I really the only one who kept thinking “ch-ch-ch-chia!”?

  68. kestrien, you were, but not anymore. Too true! But most of my chia pets never grew right. I’d forget to turn them in the sunlight and they’d grow kinda crooked.

  69. brinnann, I’m right on the hedge, ready to step over, but I am at work and don’t want to shark my duties.

  70. I visited St Tiggywinkles while in the UK last spring; it’s a lovely place and even has a hedgehog museum. There’s an especially cute three-legged fox as well.

  71. Okay Aubrey, maybe some other time. I wonder if pictures of you urchin-cuddling would make it onto CO…

  72. Theo/Kestrien: Thanks so much for the balanced view. I doubt a “jeebus” journal could get Pulitzer prizes!
    I love hedgehogs! I hate stepping on stray quills at 2am. These at St. Tiggywinkles look like they have a little fur around the edges, unlike our African Pygmy pets! Fuzzy!!

  73. Tiggywinkles, tiggywinkles.

    Fun to say.

  74. I kept reading it as ‘Tiddliwinks’ and wondering why they would name an animal hostpital after a board game.

  75. Such a fantastic name. St Tiggywinkles–I just enjoy saying it!

    So…should St Tiggywinkles also become the patron (non-secular) saint of Teh Qte?

  76. I wish Meg cared more about her blog.

  77. Hey Hooku.
    You know *NOTHING* about Meg.
    So please to be shutting it.

  78. I can’t believe that’s still on the market! The set I had as a kid contained a board with Donald Duck’s head in the middle and you had to try get the thingy into his hat. Thrilling it was.

  79. Fred, I keep seeing Eric Idle reading a children’s fairy tale and still wondering what they did with that melon.

  80. Jessara — that URL exploded into some kind of database error for me… I found this, though:

    …there, that might be the Mrs. Tiggywinkle you were looking for.

  82. First I was just awwing over all the little spikey babies but now, thanks to that pic of Beatrix Potter’s Mrs Tiggywinkle, I really want to dress them all up in little people clothes.

  83. Eric Idle, fairy tales and melons? Which skit was this? Sounds very funny!

  84. Fred, click on ‘Children’s Stories’:

  85. Aww I would love a hedgehog as a pet. Our equivalent here in Australia, the Echidna, isn’t encouraged as a pet. In fact I believe you need a license and approval from the National Parks & Wildlife Service as they they don’t do well in captivity without special care. Are hedgehogs just as precarious? Alot of people seem to own one in the UK.

  86. Don’t be rude, Eric Idle is a whole nother kettle of fish. The story of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is totally adorable and the pictures are pure escapism. Even Wikipedia references St. T’s when you ask it about Mrs. T. The text is here (see if this link works, please Theo?) and in it you will learn what goffering is. I hadn’t known.

  87. Oh, I see!

  88. I had a hedgehog named Dinsdale once. She (which I later learned that was NOT a male) like the ‘stink bugs’ that always popped up in late fall. I can remember sitting her on the sidewalk and watching her go nuts eating them! Hedgey’s like to eat. It makes them all lippy-smaky.

  89. michellemybelle says:

    What a wonderful place! Thanks for posting about St. Tiggywinkles (I sure do like typing that!).

  90. This isn’t cute!

  91. …and this whole time I was thinking of having to slog through med school for people when i could be at a hedgie hospital!

  92. CG: If you want to be PAID to work at a Wildlife rehab center, you at least need a Bachelors (assuming you are getting a Nor. American degree). But even lowly Liberal Arts majors such as I may volunteer to help out 🙂 And I do. Just in the education dept. Most states have a number of rehab centers, but if you want hedgies you’ll have to skip over the pond.

    That said, I have just decided I want to go to Oxford for my PhD. Just because of the hedgie hosp.

  93. useta hada kitteh says:

    Sumbuddy tell that guy not to hog the hedgies, I wanna hold ’em and snorgle ’em, too!

    I was trying to find out why a hedgehog is called a hog of hedges, and I haven’t quite got all the info I want yet, but wanted to tell y’all that the word comes from the Middle English “heyghoge” Sorta looks like Early Snorglish, rather than Middle English, to me…

    Back to the etymological hodgepodge to learn about hedgehogs…

  94. I bet you had fun typing that, Useta.

  95. useta hada kitteh says:

    Yup, it was fun to type. Wouldn’t want to try to say it out loud, three times, quickly (or even one time, slowly), but it was fun to type.

    Unfortunately, I’ve found no further info about the “hog” part of the hedgie’s name. Learned that they’re sometimes called hedgepigs, but that didn’t help. Hogs of the hedge, or pigs of the hedge, they don’t look porcine to me.

    Did come across the word “hedgehoggery”, describing the entire scope of hedgehog knowledge (or sumthin’), and thought it was a pretty cool word. Also thought that if there was a hedgehog underground, (not as in “in a burrow”, but as in “group formed with nefarious intent, and attempting to elude discovery”) they might be a hedgehoggery of skullduggery.

    I can’t help it, I was born this way.

  96. “Bread and Jam for Frances” was my favorite childhood book! I’m so happy to learn that others remember it fondly.

    Now I’m off to shop at the St. Tiggwinkles gift shop!

  97. Useta, I think that if you badger enough sources, you’ll soon get the stoat-al background on the hedgehog underground (not burrow).

  98. Useta, you crack me up — I’ve only been going to this site for a little while now, and you’re already one of my favorite people!

  99. Erin — dup fixed

  100. acelightning says:

    I love the name “St. Tiggywinkle’s” – if there isn’t a patron saint of hedgehogs, there certainly ought to be, and she certainly ought to be Saint Tiggywinkle! (Although I don’t think St. Peter is the patron saint of rabbits…)

    I have friend who’s doing post-doctoral work at Oxford; I sent him the URL, hoping he might visit there in his free time.

    And I solemnly believe that taking care of wild creatures who have suffered in their encounters with human-made things is one of the noblest things a person can do.

  101. awwwh! Are they indigenous British hedgies? <3!!

  102. oh and Usteda… Hedgies + etymology = LOOOOOVE!

  103. (gyah, sorry for mistyping your name)

  104. To brinnann- I think the resemblance to pigs isn’t much- it’s mostly because of their snuffling and pointy snout they root around with.

  105. The Honourable Gladys Anstruther says:

    I want a hedgehog hairbrush, but would I be able to find it in the morning? it would be in the garden eating slugs.
    Useta ‘hegemony’ (domination by hedgehogs over its allies)

  106. Besides the snuffling and the rooting, remember that Way Back When, pigs didn’t come in the smooth pink chubby variety. Your basic wild pig has bristles along its spine that are very stiff & prickly. Actually feral pigs have this unlovely feature also. If only we could train them to eat kudzu instead of native plants & animals, I could grow fond of them.

  107. My parents live in the same village as St. Tiggs

  108. Looks like he fell in to a briar patch!!!

  109. Went to visit my mom in the country and took my Pom. After 30 minutes of playing outside she came in looking just like that!

  110. useta hada kitteh says:

    Erin — thanks! Your comment warmed my heart and put a smile on my face.

    The Hon. Gladys — ROFLOL! In other words, jolly good, old chap. “hegemony”. chortle, chuckle…

    I’ve decided the guy in the pic is hedging himself ’round, against all disaster.

  111. lord of the dead says:

    Pet hedgehogs, fyi are African pygmy hedgehogs, they are about half the size of the ones shown in the story, which are European hedgehogs. Euros don’t make good pets, they are more of a garden animal. The Euros have black faces, the Africans have white faces and bellies. Hedgehog spines feel a bit like straw or a stiff hairbrush, but if you are holding a hedgie and it suddenly decides to ball up and raise its spines, watch out – then they feel like so many fine surgical needles!

  112. little miao says:

    what a lovely, heartwarming story. a hospital for hedgies!

  113. Tiggywinkle.

  114. We have two hedgehogs in our garden…they’re still hibernating right now, but I suspect they’ll be arising soon. We’re lucky enough to have a pet store nearby that sells hedgehog kibble. Both hedgies are very sweet, and have become very tame; I can hand-feed them, or pat them while they eat. Note: we live in the middle of nowhere, miles from any major road or other people, so this is okay. We wouldn’t do it if we thought it might put them at risk.

  115. Edward, where exactly do you live? I don’t think we’ve got any wild hedgies around here, and I’m from the country.

  116. We’re just outside of Cambridge, on the other side of the M11. We didn’t know we had them for almost a year; they’d come and eat the food the birds left overnight, and then disappear. I got a glimpse of one of them one night when I went outside for a cigarette, and then once we started feeding them, they got bolder and bolder.

  117. I work at st tiggyinkles and it’s amazing place to be working. Les is such an amazing man. That place helps so many injured places.x