By Rory Reynolds
GUESTS at one of Scotland’s plushest hotels got a big surprise when a small hedgehog wandered into reception – and gave birth to triplets.
Staff at the five-star Prestonfield Hotel in Edinburgh were baffled when the spiky creature settled down on their cosy carpet.
And they were even more surprised with three tiny triplets emerged from their mum, who afterwards had a sleep behind a basket of logs kept for the open fires.
The hedgehog had to dodge the advances of the hotel’s famous garden peacocks but made it safely to the front door to deliver her new babies.
Officers from the SSPCA rushed to the hotel in the south of Edinburgh to care for the newborn hedgehogs, before taking the little family with them to settle into their new home.
The hoglets are now seven weeks old, and happily living with their mum at the SSPCA. Centre Manager Colin Seddon said: “This was a very unusual place for the hedgehog to choose to have her babies.
“She was obviously confused and knowing that she was about to give birth, decided to find the nearest warm and sheltered place, which just happened to be a very plush hotel.
“We were worried when she came in because it is not uncommon for a mother hedgehog to eat her young if she is disturbed or feels threatened, so we were obviously very keen to avoid that happening.
“Initially, we kept the family warm and dry and provided them with food and water, but we left them in almost complete isolation to minimise the risk of cannibalism.
“Thankfully this approach has proved successful and all three hoglets are now seven weeks old and ready to be released back to the wild with their mother.”
James Thomson, proprietor of the Prestonfield Hotel, said that they hadn’t been expecting any more check-ins that day, but were happy to help the little critter.
He said: “The wellbeing of all our visitors to Prestonfield is of the utmost importance to us and so we are all really thrilled to hear that both mother and all three hoglets are healthy and are now ready to be released back home.
“We are just glad that they checked in and enjoyed a little 5-star luxury along the way.”