Bouncing back: hedgehog found 'blown up like a beachball' in South Yorkshire is on road to recovery

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A hedgehog who was found 'blown up like a beachball' in South Yorkshire is bouncing back from his prickly ordeal.

Monty - as he has been nicknamed - was discovered in Toll Bar, Doncaster, earlier this month having inflated to double his normal size due to a rare condition known as 'balloon syndrome'.

Monty appeared close to bursting when he was found

Monty appeared close to bursting when he was found

He was rescued by the RSPCA and taken to its wildlife centre in Cheshire, where staff said today he is making a good recovery after an operation to release the trapped gas.

As you can see from these photos, he's looking more like his old self, and the charity hopes to be able to release him back into the wild in the next two to three weeks.

Lee Stewart, manager at the RSPCA's Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, said: "He is doing well, he is putting on weight and eating well. He is eating cat food, mealworms and dry hedgehog biscuits.

"You can certainly tell the difference between what he was like when he first came in, compared to what he is like now.

Monty is making a good recovery

Monty is making a good recovery

"It is rare that we get hedgehogs with Balloon Syndrome, particularly this severe, so it has been interesting to watch his progress. It will be great to see him returned to the wild."

Staff at the centre nicknamed the hedgehog Monty after the Montgolfier brothers who invented the hot air balloon.

Balloon syndrome occurs when a traumatic event or an underlying infection causes gas to build up under a hedgehog's skin.

The RSPCA said Monty's case, possibly caused after being hit by a car, was one of the most extreme it had ever witnessed.

The RSPCA hopes to release Monty back into the wild in the next few weeks

The RSPCA hopes to release Monty back into the wild in the next few weeks

* To donate to the RSPCA, text RSPCA2 to 70007. Texts cost £3 plus the standard network rate.

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