Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

London Hedgehogs Are Proof That Natural Selection Exists


There’s a very good reason as to why two hedgehogs were used to front a large road safety campaign way back in the late nineties.

You know the one: it had a clever jingle based around the trucker song, King Of The Road. It was brilliant. [Note from Ed. – Why don’t adverts do amazing jingles anymore?]

The two hedgehogs waxed lyrical about the wonders of looking left and right, teaching legions of children everywhere the virtues of not getting knocked down by cars. The spikey animal was designated as the perfect fit for the campaign, largely because they’re morbidly prone to getting squashed by oncoming vehicles.

It’s sad, but it’s a fact: when it comes to roads and cars, hedgehogs are idiots. The once common UK critter has found its numbers in steep decline over the last 60 years, with the London population hit particularly hard - both figuratively and literally.

It doesn’t matter how steep the congestion charge is, heavy traffic in the capital will always be prevalent and with that comes hedgehog squashing. Unless you’re a hedgehog that lives in Regents Park that is. The Regent’s Park hogs are different. In fact they’re not just different, they’re street smart. They probably swarm around like bristly biker gangs calling themselves the Regency Pack, they’re that switched on.

The Regency Pack (as they will hereby by known) have taught themselves that roads mean bad things and that they should be avoided at all costs, even when foraging for delicious food. They have in effect, 'evolved'. Which doesn’t sound like that much of a biggy, but when you consider that the other four Royal Parks in London – St Jame’s, Hyde and Green Park, along with Kensington Gardens, have a hedgehog population of zero, it’s astonishing.

In the seventies, hedgehogs were a booming feature of London’s parks, but now it’s only The Regency Pack left and evidence would suggest that it’s because they avoid roads. Clare Bowen of the Royal Parks Foundation said: “We’ve tagged a number of animals and we’ve got a very good idea of where they are going. We don’t have any indication of them leaving the park at all or crossing any of the main roads.

“We don’t have any records of squashed hedgehogs around Regent’s Park. All this would suggest they steer clear of busy roads.”

There you have it. Proof that hedgehogs have evolved, or at least adapted their behaviour due to environmental stimuli. Regent’s Park is essentially Hedgehog mecca, the real life equivalent of White Deer Park of Animals of Farthing Woods fame.

Or, in a scary way, it’s the hedgehog equivalent of the woods at the end of Planet Of The Apes that become the utopian training ground for their inevitable spikey uprising.

[Image: Rex]



19 Dogs That You Need To Follow On Instagram Right Now


Sesame Street's Big Bird Takes On Hip Hop Classic


This robot cheetah is the most terrifying thing you’ll see all day


Nikon invents the camera for dogs


Compelling supercut of people barking like dogs


Disturbingly Realistic Pokemon Artwork



The new bike lock that will literally makes thieves sick

The SkunkLock sprays a vomit-inducing chemical when cut

by Tom Fordy
21 Oct 2016

Watch Donald Trump meet Saint & Greavsie to do the Rumbelows Cup draw

Did this really happen?

21 Oct 2016

Baby Jesus statue in Canada criticised after 'shocking' restoration

A holy cock up

by Tom Fordy
21 Oct 2016

This man tried to shoplift a venetian blind stuffed down his trousers

Fair play

20 Oct 2016

Great men tells us about the greatest beer they ever had

Irvine Welsh, Idris Elba, Frank Turner, Ken Loach & more

20 Oct 2016

This letter from George Bush to Bill Clinton shows Trump what class is

From one President to another

by Dave Fawbert
20 Oct 2016

Charlie Brooker on nostalgia, social media and Black Mirror

The Black Mirror creator has his say on the filmmaker's criticism of modern TV

20 Oct 2016

An ode to Kumbuka, the gorilla who escaped and downed 5l of squash

Let's take a moment to savour ZSL London's great primate escape, the hero we all want to be

by Tristan Cross
20 Oct 2016

30 times Gary Lineker said what we were all thinking

Unafraid to speak his mind - and usually right

by Dave Fawbert
20 Oct 2016

Stephen Hawking thinks A.I. could be worst thing to happen to humanity

Run for the hills, the machines are about to take over

by Tom Fordy
20 Oct 2016