A Swedish woman could face criminal charges after harbouring a hedgehog in her flat in violation of the country’s hunting laws.
Police raided the flat in Gavle, eastern Sweden, after receiving a tip-off that the prickly creature had been living a life of luxury with the woman for almost a month.
“We carried out a raid this morning. And there was indeed a hedgehog in there,” Hans-Olof Sundstrom of the Gavle police said to the local newspaper Arbetarbladet on Friday 29th July. “It appears to have been given food of all kinds, cat food, bread and water. When we arrived there were little sausages on the floor for it to eat,” he added.
The woman apparently took the hedgehog back to her home in June after finding it wandering the streets. After the Country Administrative board told police the about the illicit hedgehog hotel, a search of her flat was carried out, with the fugitive eventually being secured on the balcony.
It is illegal to possess wild animals under Swedish law, and, although the African hedgehog is considered to be a domesticated species, the woman’s lodger was found to be of the wild Swedish variety. Even though the house guest did not appear to have suffered any physical harm during his cushy kidnapping, the woman could face a year in jail if found guilty of violating hunting laws. While a landowner can legally ‘suspend’ a wild animal, they must then either kill it or release it under the rules.