Sonic the hedgehog, the newest member of the science department, proves that biology really is the study of life. Biology teacher Paula Angus recently added the hedgehog to the milieu of biological diversity in S205.
Sonic originally came from Jonathan Bahr, son of Community Service Director Marci Bahr, when he had to give up the spiny mammal. While in Jonathan’s care, the hedgehog trapped herself behind a dishwasher.
“It was at that point that my son decided that Sonic needed a new home,” Marci said. “His life was too busy to care for her properly, and he and his girlfriend wanted a better life for her.”
Marci suggested Sonic move to St. John’s as a school pet and contacted Angus.
“I stepped up very quickly,” Angus said. “My thirteen-year-old daughter has always wanted a hedgehog, so I’ve been doing some research on how to care for them. They seem like really good classroom pets.”
Hedgehogs, unlike guinea pigs, eat mostly protein. Their diet consists mainly of insects in the wild, but Angus feeds Sonic packaged food with the occasional juicy mealworm. Angus plans on opening a suggestion box to rename the hedgehog, but the current majority still favors “Sonic.”
“You can’t hold her unless you have gloves on or else you’ll get spikes in your hand,” freshman Matthew Fastow said. “Sonic was trembling when we first got her.”
Sonic has had trouble adjusting to her new surroundings. She is unable to even stay in S205 because she is currently adapting to the warm climate.
“She cannot be exposed to temperatures lower than 72° Fahrenheit, or she will go into spontaneous hibernation and die,” Angus said. “She is an African pygmy hedgehog, while the European hedgehog would be more accustomed to colder temperatures.”
Before relocating Sonic out of school temporarily, Angus had to use electric heating blankets to keep her at her ideal living temperature. When the blankets kept automatically switching off for safety reasons, the hedgehog had to stay in her own separately heated room in Angus’s house.
“Sonic is only 18 months old, but hedgehogs can live up to ten years,” freshman Joseph Coselli said. “We look forward to having Sonic as a dynamic and adorable member of the classroom.”