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Germans say they're kept up at night by loud hedgehog mating

The hashtag #igelsex (hedgehog sex) has been trending on German social media.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
little young hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) in autumn forest looking for food in the undergrowth, selected focus, narrow depth of field

Emergency personnel in Germany have been fielding calls from people complaining of loud noises keeping them up at night.

But first responders aren't finding loud music or parties. Instead, they say the noises are coming from mating hedgehogs.

The Guardian reported that people are calling emergency number 110 to report the loud noises that can sometimes sound like other animals or even humans screaming.

These types of calls are common during the summer months, according to Germany magazine Der Spiegel. The prickly mammals are capable of making noises like snuffling, hissing, snarling, clicking and even screaming, The Guardian said.

A hedgehog expert with the Ludwig Maximilian University say the animals snarl loudly during the "hourslong mating ritual," the New York Post said.

The Post also reported a recent incident when German first responders got late-night complaints about noise near a primary school in Augsburg. Officers and a groundskeeper found the loud, suspicious noises were actually coming from a "hedgehog couple in the midst of a mating ritual."

According to the Association for Integrated Nature Conservation in Germany, hedgehog mating season runs from May through the end of August. Male hedgehogs will circle a female for hours during the "hedgehog carousel." 

These carousels can cause a racket for people in Germany, who have to listen to many native male hedgehogs loudly compete for females.

Hedgehogs aren't the only animals with cacophonous mating rituals.

Those who live in Florida may have heard the dinosaur-like bellows of alligators, who use these deeps roars to communicate. The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens shared a video of a trio of gators bobbing in and out of the water while producing deep, throaty bellows.

The zoo said gators make these noises more often during mating season, which typically runs from early April through June. 

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