A RARE albino hedgehog appears to have been spotted in the wild in Shetland.
The white creature was photographed by Lisa Gifford when she and a friend went out for a mid summer walk on Friday night.
Lisa said she felt “incredibly lucky to have seen such a special and unique hedgehog”.
She did not wish to disclose its location in an attempt to protect it.
“Something white in the distance caught our eye,” Lisa recalled.
“Unsure at first what it was we tried to get closer and couldn’t believe what we were seeing. I recall saying to my friend, ‘we’ve come across something very rare here. It’s an albino hedgehog!’.
“I quickly got my phone out and zoomed in to take a few photos which sadly aren’t the best quality. We kept silent and watched him for a while until he became aware of our presence and turned to head off in the other direction.”
Lisa uploaded the photos to the Nature in Shetland Photo Group on Facebook, with the post receiving nearly 1,000 ‘likes’ and well over 200 shares.
“Every time I pass the location we saw him I look around hoping to catch another glimpse of him, but what would be the chance of being that fortunate again?” Lisa added.
British Hedgehog Preservation Society trustee Kay Bullen confirmed the Shetland hedgehog “does look like it is an albino”.
She said some albinos are often confused with blonde hedgehogs, but they can be differentiated by the appearance of their eyes.
Bullen added that it can be “hard to know how rare albino hedgehogs are, especially with them being a nocturnal animal”.
She said “in England we just receive the occasional report of an albino”.
A report in the Telegraph from 2008 claimed there were only 100 wild albino hedgehogs in Britain.