Recently I have found an explanation for a mysterious hedgehog related incident from many years back. Growing up in Europe, hedgehogs were a daily occurrence. They lived in parks and wooded areas and were part of the natural landscape, just like raccoons are in Vancouver.
One evening my father brought a hedgehog that was hit by a car. The little guy didn’t seem to have any visible signs of trauma, but he was very scared and rolled into a ball. My mom made him a comfy bed in a shoe box and we gave him apple slices. We put him out onto the balcony for the night. The next morning I ran out on the balcony excited to see the hedgie…but…it was nowhere to be found. It ate the apples, spilled the water, left a few poops and disappeared.
At the time we lived on the 4th floor, and I could not imagine the little guy voluntarily jumping off the edge…we checked the whole area under the balcony…nowhere to be found. We concluded that the critter either fell off and walked away or got kidnapped by…. well we never agreed on that part.
Before adopting Miss Lily I did plenty of research and guess what I found out: hedgehogs don’t perceive heights properly! Their eye sight is very poor and they have no or very little depth perception so….they just see it as all being on the same plane. That is why it is very important that they are never left unattended in a place where they can fall off. If they do fall, however, they turn into a ball which gives them some protection from major injuries. That is why I hope the little guy from our balcony landed into the bushes and made it out OK.