What Eats A Hedgehog?

What Eats A Hedgehog? What Do Hedgehogs Eat?


Small mammals belong to the class of hedgehogs. The predators of hedgehogs vary depending on habitat and geographic location

Their primary habitats are in Europe, Africa, and Asia, primarily in the southeast of the continent. In the 1800s, they were also introduced to New Zealand. Despite not belonging to the same species, they resemble rats or porcupines in appearance. All of these species are similar, though, in that their bodies are covered in sharp spikes.

 The larger animals are unable to prey on these spikes because they serve as a protective layer. The way it works is that they coil into a spiky ball when they sense danger. Because hedgehogs can cause discomfort, most frequent predators steer clear of them.

Therefore, unless they are in extreme need, other animals usually don’t want to eat a hedgehog. Naturally, some animals are more adept than others in learning how to trap hedgehogs and consume them whenever they get the chance. We shall discuss the most prevalent ones in further detail.

What Eats A Hedgehog
What Eats A Hedgehog

1. Birds  

An owl is one of the most frequent predators of hedgehogs. Like hedgehogs, these huge birds are nocturnal. This indicates that they don’t hunt throughout the day and occupy themselves with other activities for the most part. However, since hedgehogs are also nocturnal creatures, they frequently come into contact with one another. 

Some birds, like the Eurasian eagle, are particularly noteworthy for their silent flight and for having extremely powerful claws. Because of these two characteristics, they are nearly ideal predators since they can capture a hedgehog before it has a chance to ball up. 

The hedgehog is a little, spiky mammal that doesn’t even have time to go into defensive mode before it’s too late because it can’t hear any warning noises, and the eagle can hide its presence during the night.

2. Foxes 

Carnivorous mammals, foxes are sometimes thought to be indolent. Hedgehog predators like these are skilled hunters, but because they mostly prey on “dying wildlife,” they are primarily opportunistic. Since many foxes reside close to metropolitan areas, they have plenty of leftover food. This implies that a fox won’t need to hunt to be satisfied. This is the reason a fox will seldom, if ever, assault a hedgehog, even if they possess the necessary competence. 

More likely, it will merely offer prayers to people who are running low on time. It has also been reported that foxes murder chickens and then come back the next day to stockpile their meat.

3. Badgers 

Currently, one of the largest predators of hedgehogs is the badger. However, things haven’t always been this way. Hedgehogs and badgers have coexisted harmoniously for ages. However, due to changes in their natural habitats, deforestation, and climate change, badgers are now hunting hedgehogs for food.

Hedgehogs now have fewer hiding spots, which contributes to this in part. This is also true because badgers and hedgehogs share the same habitats. Some blame this shift in badger behavior for the decreasing number of hedgehogs. To be certain, though, this hasn’t been fully looked into.

Furthermore, badgers are among the rare creatures with the strength to uncurl a hedgehog when it is in a defensive posture. They can also manage the spines of the hedgehog.

Hedgehogs were not a common food source for badgers before their habitat changed. Only when they were extremely hungry or unable to find anything else to eat would they act in such a manner.

An Hedgehog on Grassy Area
A Hedgehog on Grassy Area

4. Canines 

Hedgehogs are preyed upon by domestic animals like dogs due to their innate tendencies. They usually locate a weak point when they attack and murder hedgehogs. Their spikes extend outward as they curl up into a ball if they detect something. This complicates the attacker’s task of locating a weak point. The spikes can occasionally cause their attacker to sustain serious cuts. 

Domestic pets, jackals, and wild canines typically find a soft area. They smell around the ends where the hedgehogs come together to form a ball in an attempt to find their weak point. They force the hedgehog to open, seize them when they’re unfolding, turn their spikes inside, and devour them all.

5. Snakes 

Hedgehogs are generally safe from snake attacks unless they are seeking food. Some species can be fatal for hedgehogs, yet some species flee from them because the predators feed on both sides.

 Although baby hedgehogs have little chance of surviving if they come into contact with a snake, adult hedgehogs are generally safe. The intriguing thing is that hedgehogs are immune to snake suffocation and swallowing techniques, but they are unaffected by snake venom.

6. Weasels 

Weasels are among the most famous and effective predators of hedgehogs. These creatures are only slightly larger than hedgehogs in size. Nevertheless, over time, they have grown to have a fondness for hedgehogs, particularly in New Zealand, where weasels primarily eat these spiny balls. Through the use of unique ways, they can capture hedgehogs and consume their soft sections without suffering from the agony that spikes might cause.

 Thus, despite their minor size disparity, weasels are among the most common predators of hedgehogs worldwide.

7. Mongooses

As well-known predators, mongooses also eat a variety of small mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles. Although they are not usually linked to preying on hedgehogs specifically, there is a chance that mongooses could hunt hedgehogs in specific situations.

Many factors, including the number of other prey species, habitat overlap, and the hunting habits of the mongoose, may influence the probability of a mongoose slaying a hedgehog. There may be cases of predation if hedgehogs are easily accessible and catchable in an area where mongooses are present.

But it’s important to remember that hedgehogs have a strong protection system in the form of their spiky coat. Hedgehogs ball up when they feel frightened, making it harder for predators to get to their weak spots. This defensive mechanism may discourage mongooses from deliberately going for hedgehogs unless the hedgehog is severely malnourished or injured.

Although hedgehogs and other small mammals are among the opportunistic prey that mongooses can hunt, incidents of predation on hedgehogs are probably uncommon and can vary depending on particular ecological variables and individual animal behavior.

What Eats A Hedgehog What Do Hedgehogs Eat
What Eats A Hedgehog What Do Hedgehogs Eat


To conclude, hedgehogs are susceptible to a range of predators in their natural environments despite their spiky covering. Hedgehogs confront numerous dangers to their existence, ranging from large predatory birds and predatory animals like owls and badgers to carnivorous mammals like martens, foxes, and badgers. 

Furthermore, when hedgehogs come into contact with household pets like cats and dogs, they could be at risk. Hedgehog population declines are also a result of human actions like habitat damage and traffic accidents. Hedgehog conservation efforts must address both human-caused risks and natural predation to guarantee that these endearing animals can survive in the wild.

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