Porcupine –

Porcupines are about as unusual an animal as I know.  They are rodents that are covered in sharp quills.  A rodent is a rat which makes it even stranger – a rat that lives in trees and has fur like cactus thorns.  I have heard that a bobcat or fisher can kill a porcupine, but I’ve never seen it.

They are mostly nocturnal but sometimes they forage for food in the day.  They eat almost everything, like grass, small plants and bark. Whenever I see them they are always high in trees eating bark.  I have seen them eat the bark of cottonwood, plum, elm and bois-d’arc trees.

I have helped my Dad pull porcupine quills out of our dogs many times.  The quills stick out of their face like long whiskers.  My dog Huck had 56 quills in him one time.  You have to hold the dog’s head down and pull the quills out with pliers.  The dog whimpers pretty good, but they take it because they know you are helping them.

Most people think porcupines shoot their quills out.  Trust me – they don’t.

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