(photo credit: THOMAS PETER/REUTERS)
Sherman the hedgehog, who was taken in by the Ramat Gan Safari in an attempt to help him lose weight, has shed an astounding 150 grams (.33 pounds).
When he was taken in by the Safari, Sherman weighed 1.656 grams, double what a normal hedgehog should weigh. Handlers at the zoo credited his chubby frame to the cat food left out on the street by well-intentioned Israelis.
However, as of Wednesday, Sherman is down to 1.492 grams, on his way to being a svelte little mammal.
To facilitate his weight loss, the Safari continued to feed Sherman cat food in small doses, but also supplemented his diet with fruits and vegetables. In addition, Sherman's handlers placed his food far away from the animal, forcing him to waddle his way to his meals.
Once he is able to perform basic hedgehog duties on his own - being able to crawl into a protective snuggly ball - he will be released back into the wild streets of Israel.
Sherman is one of nearly a dozen hedgehogs that were taken in by the Safari for a revolutionary weight-loss program.
While a quarter of Israeli humans are overweight or obese, the statistics on hedgehog weights are not known.