На ежиков наехать поищи-ка идиота!
Хорошо, что ежики мирные зверьки,
Не то пришлось бы ежиков стрелять из пулемета...
Colonists took hedgehogs from England and Scotland to New Zealand on sailing ships from the 1860s to the 1890s mainly for sentimental reasons. Few survived the 4-6 month voyage, but those that did had lost all their fleas. Animals found their first homes in the South Island, where their spread was helped by guards dropping them off at country railway stations. Hedgehogs were introduced to the North Island about 1906 and, from then on, their numbers increased at an exponential rate. By the 1920s they had become so numerous that game-bird hunters blamed them for reduced bag-sizes. Hedgehogs were declared noxious animals and a bounty of one shilling a snout paid by regional authorities for several years. By the 1950s, hedgehogs could be found over the whole country with the exception of the coldest wettest corner of the South Island and alpine areas of permanent snow. Nevertheless, hedgehogs have been seen climbing New Zealand glaciers. Hedgehogs do not reach the same weight in New Zealand as in colder parts of Europe. With its milder winters, New Zealand hedgehogs hibernate for only three months of the year so do not need to put on so much weight in autumn as their ancestors. In northern New Zealand, many hedgehogs do not hibernate at all. One of New Zealand's pioneer hedgehogs probably had faulty teeth for this feature is found in about 50% of today's animals. Most New Zealanders welcome hedgehogs in their gardens as they relish slugs and snails. Conservationists are less happy as hedgehogs compete for invertebrate food with native bush birds and prey on some rare insects, lizards and ground-nesting birds. As a result, extensive hedgehog-control programs are under way in some parts of the country, killing thousands of them. To judge by roadkill counts, North Island hedgehogs were at their highest numbers in the 1950s. Since then, roadkill counts have fallen dramatically from about 50/100 km to less than 1/100 km. refs Brockie, R.E. in Carolyn King (Ed) The Handbook of New Zealand Mammals. 1998. Oxford.