A RARE albino baby hedgehog was among four hoglets saved after they were found dehydrated and roaming a cemetery in the daytime.

The four tiny juveniles were found, covered in fleas, by a passerby and rushed to the nearby Veterinary Surgery in Stanford in the Vale near Faringdon over fears they would not make it.

They were believed to be about four weeks old.

Also read: Latest hygiene results for Oxfordshire

One further baby hedgehog was also found as part of the poorly prickle but sadly was so ill he had to be put to sleep.

The surgery's head veterinary nurse Katie Owens said: “Four of the hedgehogs were found initially by members of the public and then my sister went back and found a fifth one.

“They were all squeaking at each other when we reunited them, but mum was nowhere to be found.”

Oxford Mail:

Surgery staff have been caring for the hoglets and Ms Owens has been hand-rearing the group with help from her sister Alison Hageman.

Nurses at the practice have named them Tommy, Chanel, Rebecca and the albino hoglet has been called Marilyn after the blonde bombshell film star Marilyn Monroe.

When the four came in to the practice, staff said they were all covered in fleas and in danger of developing anaemia - a deficiency of red cells or of haemoglobin in the blood.

Also read: Kitten found crying for help with umbilical cord attached

Each dehydrated little hoglet was given emergency fluids injected under their skin and had to be fed special cat food through a syringe.

Ms Owens said: “It is possible the nest was disturbed by a predator and she fled or, more likely, that she was killed on the busy road near the cemetery.

“It would have been several weeks before mum would have let them fend for themselves so they wouldn’t have survived living in the wild.

Oxford Mail:

“It was amazing the fifth one, who is called Chanel No5, made it through the night alone as she was so small.

“The fact they were out in daylight means they were either sick, hungry or dehydrated and were searching for food outside of their normal foraging time.”

Surgery staff said Marilyn the albino hoglet would have been particularly vulnerable as they are more tempting prey for predators because they are so visible. The little baby hedgehog is struggling a little more than her siblings and is still being hand-fed, but is said to be gaining weight and on the right path to good health.

Read also: Two killed after aircraft crashes into field

Sadly, while her brothers and sisters will soon be released into the wild at a safe site for hedgehogs, she will need to be released into an enclosed garden to guard her from predators.

They will all be released back into the wild when they are big enough.

Ms Owens added: “Looking after the hedgehogs has been a lovely experience and they have put smiles on everyone’s face, although we had the sadness of losing one.

“We’re happy for people to contact us about wildlife that is sick or injured. Hedgehogs desperately need our help because they are in decline. We urge members of the public not to pick up hedgehogs unless they are ill or in danger.”