SEGA have teamed up with People’s Trust for Endangered Species to try to highlight the real-life threat to the existence of the species that one of their most celebrated characters is based upon, the hedgehog.
The species population within Britain is in dramatic decline, with 50,000 believed to die on the country’s roads each year. With more intensive farming practices also beginning to destroy the animal’s natural habitat within rural areas, the hedgehog’s very existence may be placed under threat within the next few years.
It is thought that only a million now remain in Britain, and such a figure continues to dwindle. The greatest decline has been in Wales, with Scotland and the East of England also being most affected.
In aiming to raise public awareness, SEGA and the Trust teamed up to create a ‘hedgehog road crossing’ in Twickenham, south-west London, coinciding with the release of their latest Sonic title, Sonic Colours. Four hedgehog’s were used to test the crossing, proving it to be a more than worthy creation for the spiky creatures.
“Our hedgehogs had great fun ruling the roads for the day with the hedgehog crossing and it will hopefully encourage everyone to do their bit in helping the hedgehogs of Britain stick around for years to come,” commented the animal’s handler Trevor Smith.
Anna Downing, Senior Product Manager for SEGA, adds, “Hedgehogs are an intrinsic part of British wildlife and with Sonic the Hedgehog such an institution we thought he was the perfect figure to raise awareness of their plight.”