Researchers Killed a Hedgehog With Data

By Gary Cutlack on at

A hedgehog has died. This doesn't usually make the news, as their bodies are usually left in the road to be repeatedly squashed and eaten by crows, but this case is different -- it was manslaughter. Hedgehogslaughter. A completely avoidable modern disaster fuelled by man's neverending quest for information.

The little hedgehog -- called Russet -- was being used by researchers who were looking into things. Things about hedgehogs. You'd have thought we already knew everything about hedgehogs, but apparently not. They needed to know more things about hedgehogs in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, hence tagging one up and releasing it.

The researchers clearly got a little carried away with attaching sensors and trackers to poor little Russet, though, covering him in so many tags and beacons that he couldn't look after himself and curl up properly -- and therefore died.

The team at the Nottingham Trent University put a staggering 26 individual sensors and markers on the little thing, leading to him suffering from dehydration and breaking some of his toes, with his dead body being found significantly underweight. And he had mange and all sorts of other bad things. Stupid modern world. [ITV]

Want more updates from Gizmodo UK? Make sure to check out our @GizmodoUK Twitter feed, and our Facebook page.