While all those spines may make the hedgehog look like one of the last animals you’d want to let run around in your house, certain species of the animal are actually fairly popular pets in certain parts of the world.
The African pygmy hedgehog, for example, is one of the most popular domesticated species and have been known to cozy up to their owners quite nicely.
Koutaro Maeno, a Japanese entomology researcher living in the West African country of Mauritania and proud owner of two African pygmy hedgehogs, has uploaded some rather bizarre video showing just how…tolerant the beasts can be of humans.
First, have a look at Koutaro’s “hedgehog summoning trick”:
Next, family feeding time. That’s Uro on the left and Haro on the right.
Finally, Uro gives Kotaro a foot massage:
While Kotaro handling of the two hedgehogs looks rough, neither Uro or Haro seem to mind being kicked around or stepped on very much.
It might even be the case that the hedgehogs enjoy the abuse— they certainly wouldn’t be the first masochistic house pets…