The world’s oldest scientifically-confirmed European hedgehog has been found in Denmark by a citizen science project involving hundreds of volunteers. The male hedgehog, called Thorvald, lived for 16 years, 7 years longer than the previous record holder.
Linacre Carlsberg JRF, Dr Sophie Lund Rasmussen, who led the Danish Hedgehog Project said she was overwhelmed when she discovered how old he was;
“When I looked into the microscope and started counting the growth lines in the jawbone of Thorvald- the world’s oldest hedgehog, I was amazed! I counted 16 year rings and had to take a step back to check that I was not seeing double. When I realised that there were in fact 16 rings, I couldn’t help it- tears of joy just started streaming down my face. Because if an individual can live to the age of 16 under the completely right conditions, there is still hope for the hedgehogs if we work together to preserve them in the wild.”