Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Friday, 13 June 2008 13:05 UK

Gang of men set hedgehog alight

A hedgehog was deliberately set on fire by a gang of men in Greater Manchester.

The gang attacked the animal on the Broomwood Estate in Timperley in the early hours of Thursday morning, before running off into a nearby house.

A local resident who saw the attack called police and put out the flames while they waited for them to arrive.

Police said the hedgehog was severely burnt and screaming in pain, and was taken to an RSPCA clinic in Salford where it had to be put down.

Pc Rochelle Collins, based at Altrincham Police Station, said: "The officers who attended this incident were extremely shocked and disgusted at such an act of cruelty.

"The hedgehog was in visible pain and sadly did not survive this horrendous attack.

"I cannot understand the mentality or cowardice of someone who would want to inflict this sort of pain upon an animal.

"However, inquiries are ongoing to trace the offenders and I would appeal to anyone who has information to come forward and help us."

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