Workers at the Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital weren't shocked when they came across a tiny ball of clay. But when it started hissing at them? Ya, they were a bit stunned.
"He was barely recognizable when he came in but we could see he was just about breathing (goodness knows how)," the hospital wrote online, adding later: "He was hissing a lot and getting generally agitated."
So what was the creature stuck in the clay?
A tiny little hedgehog! The prickly creature had an unfortunate encounter with a dog, and when he tried to roll away he rolled right into wet clay. He wasn't able to get out in time and the clay hardened. The dog continuted to play with the clay ball, which is when his owner noticed it was actually an animal.
The hospital cleaned up the hedgehog and gave him a cozy place to rest.
"We have got the worst of the clay off but will leave him quietly over night now and clean off some more in the morning as he became a little cold and VERY angry," they wrote. "For now he is tucked up with some food feeling very sorry for himself."
Now, the little hedgehog is recovering well and looks like a real hedgehog again!
"He is much more mobile and a lot happier," his rescuers wrote. "He is now bedded down quietly after his ordeal (both from the dog and from us cleaning him) with a nice big bowl of food."
The hedgehog eventually unrolled himself (hedgehogs roll into balls as a defense mechanism) and will hopefully be released into the wild soon enough!
Thank you to the Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital, a volunteer-run organization that cares for thousands of patients each year.