Mammals

A Prickly Encounter

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Our resident porcupine finally agreed to have a visit with me and not waddle away in its usual way.

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When cornered, a porcupine erects its quills and lashes its tail. It didn’t lash its tail, but as I got closer it did erect its quills.

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It turned its back on me and gave me a great view of those 30,000 sharp, barbed quills. Whilst the quills are easily dislodged from the porcupine’s skin, the porcupine cannot thrown them. I kept a safe distance, but was pleased that it allowed me to get a closer look at Canada’s second-largest rodent. This one wasn’t the biggest one we have seen around. Some can weigh up to 18 kg and are up to 40 inches long, although the average is 5.5kg. This one also didn’t have the attitude that the larger resident has.  I rather like seeing the grumpy old porcupine, his prickly nature makes me smile, but he wouldn’t have posed for the camera like this one.

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