IN 2018, the RSPCA were called out to rescue a hedgehog which found itself covered in paint in a Taunton garden.

A local resident called the animal welfare charity after finding the unusually coloured creature.

The hedgehog, who was named Sonic after the blue hedgehog in the video game, was treated by the team at RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre who carefully removed the blue paint from her spikes.

Speaking at the time, RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Clara Scully said: “Thankfully she was still alive and is now getting the help she needs.

"We’re unsure what happened to her, whether she was painted intentionally, or if she fell into the paint somehow.”

Speaking in 2018, Dr Bel Deering, centre manager at RSPCA West Hatch, said: “Sonic has been eating well and is getting stronger. She had to be anaesthetised to have the substance removed and there is still a blue tinge on the spines.

“The substance was very rubbery and hard to remove. It was quite caustic and so where it touched the skin there are some sore patches that will need to be monitored.”

To this day, the RSPCA'S team see many hedgehog casualties and injuries.

Llewelyn Lowen, scientific information officer at the RSPCA, said in 2018: “Unfortunately, the injuries and deaths we see are often caused by everyday garden items like strimmers, sports netting and pond or fruit netting.

"Even simple gardening activities such as forking over a compost heap can have deadly consequences for these little creatures. With a little caution, these kinds of horrific injuries are completely avoidable.

“We urge the public to become more hedgehog aware. Simple things like checking before you start strimming or using your garden fork, remembering to put sports netting away when it’s not in use and keeping drains covered can really make a difference and help protect the welfare of these iconic creatures.”