A woman who rescued a new-born hedgehog from certain death says it is time to release her spiky companion - though it will break her heart to see him go.
Marguerite Atter of Ermine Street, Ancaster, came across the hedgehog last September when he was just a few days old when she spotted what she thought was a fish floating on a lily pad in her garden pond.
Marguerite said: “I saw the gaping mouth and thought it was a fish but then I realised it was a tiny hedgehog.
“I think a bird must have dropped him because he couldn’t have climbed up to the pond.
“He was all yellow and prickly and I didn’t think he would survive.”
But Marguerite researched how to care for the hedgehog and what they eat. She found he grew healthier and stronger each day on a diet of hedgehog food, meat from the butchers’ shop and, his favourite - chicken.
However, Marguerite knows the time has come now for Mr Prickles to move on - but she is reluctant to release him in her home village of Ancaster.
She said: “I don’t want to release him here because, every time I see one in the road I will wonder if it’s him.
“There was one dead in the road the other morning and I had to rush into the house to make sure he was still here. I was so worried about him.”
Marguerite will be sad to lose Mr Prickles but hopes to re-home him at a hedgehog rescue centre in Boston.
She said: “I will very much miss him. It will break my heart.
“But he has got to go as it’s not fair on him to keep him.”
Mr Prickles is not the first animal she has kept that is out of the ordinary.
Growing, up her father had monkeys in their home .
Marguerite said: “They were almost as big as me!
“I wish I still had one now, to be honest.”