Palm Beach Zoo brings hedgehog visitor, Thomas to WPTV studio

The WPTV studio had a special guest Saturday morning.  A four-toed hedgehog arrived with the Palm Beach Zoo for an appearance.

The animal is native to central and southern Africa.  It lives in savannas and grassy areas, under vegetation.  It eats insects, eggs and crustaceans and makes for a good helpers when it comes to pest control.

Despite their prickly appearance, hedgehogs do not lose their spines like a porcupine.  Instead, when they feel threatened, they curl up into a ball.  The muscles along their back contract, pulling the hedgehog in a kind of "hood." 

Hedgehogs make for a good exotic pet, says zoological manager Liz Andersen.  Their care is relatively easy and there are enough of them in the wild population that they aren't removed from the wild for pet trade. 

NewsChannel 5 Anchor Ashleigh Walters discovered this animal has something in common with her: both like to paint.  As part of the Zoo's enrichment programs, staff members help the animal use non-toxic paint.

To learn more about the Palm Beach Zoo, visit

Some fun events coming up at the Zoo:


Breakfast with the Bunny

March 23 & 24, March 30

8:30 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.

Egg hunt, buffet breakfast, Easter Bunny photos

Family Overnight

Saturday, March 23

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Children ages 6+ and parent

$35/member, $45/non-member

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