At the beginning of June a young porcupine was brought to us from a local farmer and quickly made her way into hearts of our staff and volunteers. Our spikey edition to the family was only at the rehab for one week when a second porcupine youngster was welcomed.
The newest edition is expected to be the sibling of our first arrival and was found on the same farm. After a few days of introduction the two babies were placed together and are now inseparable. The youngest, now named Peppa, can be seen following Ranji, the older first arrival, everywhere she goes and often found cuddling for warmth.
As if the month of June wasn’t already filled with porcupine fun, a third porcupine was admitted to the rehab. This time the patient was a fully grown, very large, porcupine female, brought in by a farmer that was concerned about the animal causing too much damage to his crops.
Being Africa’s biggest rodent porcupines gnaw constantly to wear down their ever-growing teeth. As a result porcupines ringbark trees, chewing off the bark, causing great damage and sometimes killing the tree. Porcupines also dig up and eat valuable fruit and vegetables which makes them unwanted by farmers. Porcupines are the biggest destroyer of land after elephants when their numbers increase over holding capacity of that area. The farmer’s response is often to eradicate them by shooting or poisoning the animal. Thankfully, this time the porcupine was merely trapped and brought to us to relocate.
As an extra precaution the porcupine was sedated, giving your volunteer vet students a chance to thoroughly examine the patient, treated small wounds and make sure she needed no serious medical attention before she would be relocated to her new home; a wildlife reserve where her chewing and digging habits will be of no concern. The porcupine was successfully relocated later that same day.