London - Given that he had been kidnapped and left on his own for four days, you would expect him to be feeling a bit prickly.
But Stephen the blind hedgehog is already back to his usual self after being reunited with his owners.
"As soon as he heard my voice he came straight to the front of the box and put his nose in the air," said Frank Tett, 80, after his pet hedgehog was found near a park in Leeds.
He had feared the worst when Stephen was taken along with his van on Saturday morning in Leeds. But on Wednesday his wife, Veronica, 78, received a call to say the hedgehog was alive and well.
Tett said: "We had both come to the realisation that he was probably dead. Miracles do happen. I think he had been watered and fed a bit because he was not starving when we collected him."
He said he had travelled thousands of miles with Stephen – who was sprayed with chemicals and blinded this year – to shows and markets to raise money for Andrew’s Hedgehog Hospital, which the couple run from the village of Appleby near Scunthorpe.
Stephen, who is just over a year old, had been taken to a market in Albion Street, Leeds, to raise awareness about hedgehogs when Tett’s Vauxhall Combo van was stolen.
He was found by a couple near a park in Middleton, Leeds, alongside a bag of the charity’s business cards.
He said: "The couple had taken him back home and said they couldn’t just leave him there.
"We did offer them a reward, but they said 'don’t be silly' and instead gave our charity a donation. They were lovely."
He added that the van has still not been found.Daily Mail