A hedgehog widely reported to have been saved after being stuck in a crisp packet in Weston Super Mare has hit back at his rescuers, saying he had never asked for help.
The hedgehog, given the name Crispin by the team that extracted him from a railed-off area, said today that he was furious that the group had intervened.
"I had been trying to get into that railed-off area for about a week. I'd seen the crisp packet and realised it would make the perfect raincoat for a chap my size. I made it to the bag and had got inside when suddenly this group of know-it-all do-gooders started cutting down the railings with an angle grinder."
The hedgehog, real name Ken Whittle, claims the incident amounts to assault and kidnapping. "I was bloody annoyed. Those railings were ideal protection against kids and dogs. And Gary Lineker. Anyway, they dragged me out, pulled the bag off and whisked me away in a van. I couldn't believe it when we pulled up outside the very same Hedgehog Containment Centre that I had escaped from only six months ago."
Ken says that the team that took him have been operating in the area for several years. He claims they round up law-abiding hedgehogs, re-locate them to secure compounds against their will and even tag them. "They say it's for our own good. Well they would say that, wouldn't they - ethnic cleansers always do. Strikes me there are a lot of parallels with Nazi Germany."
Ken is now considering taking his case to the European Court of Hedgehog Rights. He claims he faces months of illegal detention at the centre, with the possibility of extraordinary rendition to Wiltshire by the RSPCA.
"These people have spun this story to make it seem like they are trying to help. But I ask you, what kind of sick individual would name a hedgehog Crispin, given the sad history of Gypsies cooking hedgehogs over an open fire?"