A tiny baby hedgehog had a prickly start to life after he was found abandoned just minutes after his birth – with his UMBILICAL CORD still attached.
Tiny Tom Thumb even still had blood on his nose from birth when he was discovered by a curious cat in a garden in Ripon, North Yorks.
The adorable bundle of spikes was all alone after being abandoned by his mother, but has now recovered from his ordeal.
Tom Thumb, so called because he is so tiny, was taken to Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary and is being hand-reared by staff who are at his beck and call through the day and night.
Pictures of Tom Thumb show him sharing a cuddle with a teddy bear, and with his tiny umbilical cord poking out.
Alexandra Farmer, from the sanctuary, said: “He’s very sweet and so adorable.
“The lady who brought him in called him Tom Thumb because he is about the same size.”
“He’s only three or four days old so we’ve quite a way to go yet.
“The founder’s cat was investigating but luckily did not attack. He was then put in a box and left at their local veterinary practice door step.
“We are not sure how long he was there till someone discovered him but he was very cold when Jacqui Morrel at HAPPY (Hedgehog Appreciation Prickly Pals in Yorkshire) collected him.
“Jacqui warmed him up, fed and toiletted him and brought him over to Whitby
Wildlife Sanctuary where I am now hand rearing him.”
Alex added: “He is being fed every two hours including during the night and is so far making excellent progress.
“On his second day his spines felt sharper. Now it’s day three and we can see him sprouting little whiskers.”
Tom Thumb is being kept in an incubator at the sanctuary on his own at the sanctuary and is hoping to eventually grow big enough to play with other animals.
Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary rescue, rehabilitates and releases animals into the wild. They also look after birds, hedgehogs, squirrels, rabbits and hares to name a few.