A hedgehog who swelled to the size of a beach ball has been released into the wild after recovering from ‘balloon syndrome’.
The Scottish SPCA had been caring for hedgehog Zepplin, who had a circumference of 30 inches, for the last eight months.
Staff at the welfare charity say Zepplin is one of the largest hedgehogs they have cared for.
They say the swelling is most likely to have been caused by a puncture in his lung which caused air to become trapped under his skin.
National Wildlife Rescue Centre Manager Colin Seddon said Zepplin has been recovering at the National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross, Clackmannanshire.
He said: “Zepplin suffered from ‘balloon syndrome’. It’s likely that he was clipped by a car, puncturing a lung and causing air to become trapped under his skin.
“He’s certainly one of the largest hedgehogs we’ve taken into our care, with a circumference of 30 inches.
“Zepplin had a difficult time recovering, the hole we made in his skin kept healing faster than his punctured lung, we had to put plastic in with his spines to ensure the excess air could escape as the poor guy kept reinflating.
“Zepplin has thankfully made a full recovery after his ordeal and was released over the Easter weekend, along with other hedgehogs, in the Perthshire area.”