Pygmy Hedgehog ‘Packs his Tiny Bags’ and Goes Camping in Adorable Photo Shoot

Credits: Instagram/@hedgehog_azuki

If you ever need a reminder of how social media has changed the world, consider the sheer number of profiles set up on behalf of pets. 20, or even 10 years ago, this would have been seen as a novelty at best and bizarre behavior at worst. However, in the age of “anything for the ‘Gram,” it’s to be expected.

Perhaps the best examples of this come from the Instagram feeds of Azuki (now sadly spending his time at the Rainbow Bridge, but succeeded by Monaka and Uiro) and Uni and Toro. These pygmy hedgehogs live with their loving owners in Japan.

Pygmy hedgehogs, so named as the smallest breed of this animal, are usually wild and nocturnal. It is legal to keep them as pets in some countries, provided they are cared for appropriately. It is safe to say that Monaka, Uiro, Uni, and Toro lack for nothing!

These pygmy hedgehogs are the subjects of countless Insta stores and photoshoots. You’ll need to speak Japanese to be able to read many of the captions, but as the old adage claims, a picture is worth a thousand words. Just take a look at some of the adorable escapades of these critters.

You’ll often find them sporting outfits (miniature hats are a particular favorite) and embarking upon new adventures. When it all gets too much, both pets snuggle into a blanket and take a nap – alone or together.

Of all the animals, Azuki seems to have enjoyed the wildest nomadic spirit. Among our personal favorites of Azuki’s many situational photoshoots, a camping trip – including pitching a tent, enjoying a barbeque, and riding a kayak – brings a broad smile to our weary faces. Clearly, this little animal had a wonderful life.

It’s enough to make us want to adopt a pygmy hedgehog for ourselves. Before you explore this opportunity, though, ensure it’s legal in your state. Hawaii, Washington, Nebraska, New York, California, and Georgia have all outlawed ownership of these animals, and other cities may also have their own rules in place. If hedgehogs escape into the wild, they can become a pest and upset the delicate balance of the local ecosystem.

Pygmy hedgehogs also need a particular environment to thrive, including appropriate lighting, temperature, diet, and stimulation. Overall, it’s advisable to stick with admiring pygmy hedgehogs – and any of their larger brethren – from afar. Thankfully, the care that is clearly taken to keep Monaka, Uiro, Toro, and Uni happy means we’ll long be able to do so.

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