Indigenous to Iraq and most of the Middle East, hedgehogs are occasionally found on-base and the surrounding area. "Knuckles", our resident hedgehog, was found by some KBR contractors and brought to Charlie Medical.
There are 16 species of hedgehog, and can be found throughout parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand. There are no hedgehogs native to Australia or North America. They adapt well to dogs and cats, but can be threatened by them; i.e. spend a lot of time rolled into a ball.
Knuckles has hundreds of hard and pointy spines, which are hollow hairs made stiff with keratin. They are safe to touch, and are non-poisonous and aren't barbed. Their best defense when threatened is to roll into a ball with all of their spines exposed, although they are also known to make a run for it or attack back by throwing their spines against the attacker. Think 'sonic'.
His nose is more of a snout, similar to an Aardvark's and is specially designed as a bug vacuum. Hedgehogs make great pets if 1) you don't mind the fact that they are nocturnal and will be running around the house all night, and 2) they chirp and sing all night, too.
I have no idea which ones, but apparently it is illegal to own hedgehogs in certain states. Iraq doesn't count...so Knuckles is here to stay as long as he likes.