Cuddle Alert: Cuddle Hedgehogs In Tokyo, Turn 'Chief Wombat Cuddler' In Tasmania

Asif Khan

Two cuddle-worthy news items have hit the internet recently, one involving cafe-dwelling hedgehogs, and the other an orphaned wombat.

Let's check out the stories.

Hedgehog Cafe

Hedgehogs have always gotten bad press owing to their prickly nature. Regarded by many as the animal version of a cactus plant, they don't easily inspire cuddlesome thoughts.

But now a cafe in Tokyo has taken upon itself to change people's perceptions, according to a Reuters report.

A "hedgehog cafe" has opened in Tokyo's Roppongi entertainment district, where you can sit and spend time with hedgehogs. You can watch them, play with them, and of course, cuddle them as much as you like.

You'll need to shell out 1,000 yen ($9) on weekdays and 1,300 yen ($12) on weekends to enjoy an hour of hedgehog company. There are over 20 different hedgehog breeds lounging in glass tanks to choose from.

Started this February, the hedgehog cafe has already become quite popular, with people often waiting in a queue to be admitted inside.

The reason for choosing something as unconventional as a hedgehog as the centerpiece of a cafe may lie in the creature's spiky, often misunderstood personality. According to cafe staffer Mizuki Murata, the hedgehog cafe aims to dispel the negative notions people have had about hedgehogs for long.

We wanted to show people the charm of hedgehogs, which give the impression of being hard to handle. We wanted to get rid of that image by letting people touch them … The cutest thing about hedgehogs is getting them to finally open up and show you their face."

Chief Wombat Cuddler

If hedgehog cuddling is still not your thing, try the much simpler wombat cuddling.

Tourism Tasmania is running a contest looking for a "Chief Wombat Cuddler" for an orphaned wombat named Derek, according to a CNN report.

Mooney has been a mother-like figure to Flinders Island's orphaned wombat babies for decades now, but she wouldn't mind a little help with Derek, who is just eight months old and needs constant care.

Derek became famous recently when Australian photographer Sean Scott shot a video of him frolicking on the beach and uploaded it online.

The position is an unpaid, honorary one and would last only for three days. Only Australian residents are eligible to apply.

Interested candidates need to fill in a form on the contest website, where they also have to describe in 25 words or less why they would be the best person to be the Chief Wombat Cuddler.

Once selected, the Chief Wombat Cuddler, along with a friend, would be flown to Flinders Island to "smother our little friend with cuddles" and would also get to "spend three nights exploring Derek's island home," according to the contest's website.

The last date for applying is April 16. Please note that the contest is strictly meant for cuddle-happy candidates -- the organizers have clearly mentioned on their website that "non-cuddlers need not apply."

This initiative is reminiscent of another recent undertaking, Scotland's Ambassadog hunt, reported by The Inquisitr last month.

[Photos by Joe Raedle and Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images ]