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Last Updated: Tuesday April 22 2008 06:12 GMT

Cat food diet helps fat hedgehog

George before his diet. Photo: Wildlife Aid, Leatherhead, Surrey

A hefty hedgehog has lost nearly a fifth of his body weight after wildlife vets put him on a special diet.

Podgy George had grown to the size of a football after snaffling the high-fat treats left out for birds.

So he was put on a strict diet last November of just a few spoonfuls of CAT FOOD every day.

After a few months, he's now gone from 2.2kg to 1.7kg, but is still on his diet as he needs to lose 850g more to be a healthy weight.

George before his diet. Photo: Wildlife Aid, Leatherhead, Surrey
George before his diet.
George was originally too fat to move, but now he and his companion Mildred, who live at a wildlife centre in Leatherhead, Surrey, even have an exercise space!

A special rabbit run has been carefully built to keep them away from the high-fat bird treats while still getting space to roam around.

George was so fat he didn't feel the cold and so unlike most hedgehogs, he did not hibernate this winter. That's some prickly podge!