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Zepplin the beach ball hedgehog released back in to wild

Animal welfare officers believe he developed ‘balloon syndrome’ after being struck by a car.

A hedgehog which blew up to the size of a beach ball after developing “balloon syndrome” has been released into the wild.

The Scottish SPCA allowed Zepplin to return to his natural environment after 253 days at its rescue centre in Fishcross, Clackmannanshire.

The animal welfare charity was called to help the hedgehog in July 2017 after he was spotted by a member of the public.

He then had a circumference of 30 inches which vets believed was due to being injured by a car.

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Colin Seddon, national wildlife rescue centre manager said: “Zepplin has been recovering at our National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross for the past 253 days.

“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.”

Vets released him and other hedgehogs in Perthshire over the Easter weekend after he received treatment to allow excess air to escape from his body.

Mr Sneddon added: “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 re-inflating.

“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.”

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