There is a race against time to find a very rare ALBINO hedgehog and prevent it from becoming prey after a litter was born in the UK.
It is thought just one in 100,000 hedgehogs have the recessive gene which makes them white with red eyes and paws.
And Wildlife Orphanage, a hedgehog charity in Yorkshire, knows of a litter of at least three albino hedgehogs in the Selby area.
They are currently caring for one of the eight-week old babies, who has been named Twinkle, but another has tragically died and a third has been spotted by a member of the public.
Albino hedgehogs, due to their conspicuous appearance, are more vulnerable to predators and there are fears the third animal could become prey or be hit by a car unless it is found and saved.
Annette Pyrah, who runs Wildlife Orphanage, said: “Selby seems to be the albino hedgehog capital of the world.
“The first albino wasn’t so lucky as the finder kept her for three days and she was very ill, needing medication and intensive care, which we at the Wildlife Orphanage provide.
“The second one is with us and is doing fine but there have been sightings of a third.
“We are appealing to the public to keep an eye out for any small albino.
“This is in Barlby near Selby in North Yorkshire. We are trying to locate this third albino as the first two were very poorly and if this one is from the same litter then could also be very ill and needing treatment.”
Mother hedgehogs normally have a litter of around five babies twice per year, with the latest little born in June.
Anyone who spots an albino hedgehog should contact Annette Pyrah on 0771 1883072 or visit www.wildlifeorphans.co.uk