COLORADO SPRINGS — Apparently, hedgehogs spend hours each night running miles and miles on their wheels. With this in mind, one Colorado Springs resident made an odometer, measured his pet's wheel rotations, and now runs a club for hedgehog owners to keep track of how far their prickly friends run each week.
Jason Odell, the owner of Lemmy the Hedgehog had heard that the small, spiky critters could run several miles over the course of a night, when they are active; however, it was hard to really believe HIS pet was doing this without data-driven evidence.
So, to that end, during 2020 he crafted a hedgehog-odometer which measured the rotations of Lemmy's wheel, and then calculated those rotations into an actual distance.
"Frankly I was just like, wait a minute here, this can't be right, eleven thousand rotations? What does that work out to be? And what it works out to be is, if you do the calculations, about five-and-a-half miles."
Following his discovery, Jason began to create and distribute more odometers before he and other hedgehog enthusiasts, banded together to create the Hedgehog Running Club.
The club is an online community where hedgehog owners can, once a week, submit travel stats of their own pets. Jason then compiles these and releases reports which everyone can view, keep track of, and enjoy.
The club started at the beginning of 2021 with about five people; but since that point, Jason reports having sold almost 200 odometers, and seeing an average of 50 people submit names and data each week.
"Every Saturday night, you can go to bed knowing that out there in the world there are 40 or 50 hedgehogs on their wheels," stated Jason, "they're running away, running on their wheels, and it's exciting to see the results the next morning."
Far from only being just about keeping up with what these tiny creatures are doing every night, members of the club report having created lasting friendships.
Additionally, the Hedgehog Running Club has spent time raising money to help pay for hedgehog vet bills and even fund hedgehog rescues.
"I try to make it a positive thing and about community and giving a little bit back."
To learn more about the club and the Hedgehog which started it all visit their website, HERE.
(all hedgehog wheel video is courtesy of Jason Odell)