Today, 300,000 fewer wild hedgehogs are alive in the United Kingdom than there were just 10 years ago.
To shed light on the plight of the spiny mammals, conservationists have called on the most famous hedgehog in history—Sonic.
Sega, the gaming company behind the wildly successful Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, has teamed up with People's Trust for Endangered Species to raise awareness about the fate of the prickly critter, reports The Daily Mail.
A hedgehog road crossing was created in Twickenham, near southwest London.
Under the protection of a traffic cop, four hedgehogs were allowed to cross the road.
"Our hedgehogs had great fun ruling the roads for the day with the hedgehog crossing," said conservationist, Trevor Smith, to the Mail. "It will hopefully encourage everyone to do their bit in helping the hedgehogs of Britain stick around for years to come."
Unlike Sonic, whose chief nemesis is the sinister Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik, real-world hedgehogs are being assaulted from all sides.
According to People's Trust, the dwindling numbers are the result of increased farming and car accidents—which kill 50,000 of the spiky creatures every year.
Says the Mail:
Sega’s efforts aren’t totally altruistic.
A new Sonic game—Sonic Colors—is scheduled for release in North America on November 16 for the Wii and Nintendo DS.