Species: African Pygmy Hedgehog
Diet: Carnivore, Insectivore (hedgehog diet, mealworms, crickets, etc.)

Like most first year teachers, Hendrix spends the first few minutes meeting new students curled up in a tight ball, small spines facing outwards. It typically only takes him a few short moments to realize there’s nothing to worry about, however, and that’s when the fun starts! Hendrix is incredibly inquisitive and loves sniffing out the good questions from the audience. His favorite questions are the ones where he can help folks make good decisions on what kind of pet they should get.

Like many hedgehogs, Hendrix was purchased by a loving family around the time hedgehogs became legal to have as pets in Arizona. Hendrix would alternate his time between his owner’s first grade classroom and at home. However, his care became too overwhelming, and his family decided to find him a place where he could really let his few months of teaching practice shine!

The hedgehog’s best defense against predators is its spiky armor. With about 3,000 to 5,000 quills covering its back, a hedgehog can protect itself from animals that think it would make a tasty snack. When threatened, the hedgehog raises it quills upright in a crisscross pattern, making its body pointy and sharp. It uses its belly muscles, back muscles, and extra skin to tuck in its head, legs, and tail to curl into a complete ball, protecting its soft belly. The solid ball of spikes is hard for predators to open.