LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The life of a hedgehog is a peculiar one. The animals have unique personalities, and Bill and P.J. Mattus embrace them all at Arkansas Hedgehog Rescue.
One of their prickly friends, Kayak, became an internet star with energetic character and a heartwarming turnaround. The couple nursed the baby back to health from his most feeble point.
"We started to syringe him some food. He was very weak and a little dehydrated, malnourished. I think that was in part that he couldn't stand, couldn't walk," said P.J. Mattus.
After Kayak's recovery, the one-year-old hedgehog showed his spunky personality with his cape and skateboard. The little animal caused a big wave of internet buzz with more than 30,000 YouTube hits.
"He's a lot more popular than I thought he would be. I mean we love him to death," said P.J. Mattus.
Kayak could have been without a home if not for those pesky allergies.
"I'm not able to have cats and dogs, so we're able to have hedgehogs instead, I'm not allergic to them, so we're able to enjoy them like that," said Bill Matus.
Over the last three years, the Mattus family opened their doors to as many as six hedgehogs and started a hedgehog rescue shelter right in their home. Kayak's journey taught the couple a life lesson or two.
"If you fall to fall with enthusiasm and then get back up and try again," said P.J. Mattus.
The Mattus family is part of the Hedgehog Welfare Society. For more information about the group you can go to their website: http://on.kthv.com/1glyYxE