Did you hear the story about the 10 obese hedgehogs? It’s a prickly subject | Jules Howard

With stats showing that many dogs and cats are overweight, news of these porky hedgehogs shows how sadly humans are killing with kindness

Reader, I have just returned from a voyage down an alt-right rabbit hole. Battered, bloodied and bruised, I resurface with news of obese hedgehogs. Ten of them. From Israel. These are hedgehogs so morbidly obese that they can no longer roll into a ball. They have now been picked up by a wildlife hospital and put on a strict diet before, hopefully, they can be rereleased.

Why the alt-right rabbit hole? Because that’s where the message boards are at their most sinister and hilarious. Over at Breibart, commenters are discussing whether and to what degree these hedgehogs got fat off US government handouts. “It’s nice Israel has the money for this, compliments of American tax money!” says a typical poster, identified only as “Jim”.

Our willingness to feed wild and domestic animals into obesity is a demonstration of a short-mindedness we could do more to avoid

Related: The week in wildlife – in pictures

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