Animal Rentals Blog


YES, YOU CAN PET A PORCUPINE

July 23, 2012 by Mindy the Monkey

My friend Pokey is a North American Porcupine with her own built-in defense system.  She has very sharp quills all over most of her body that protect her from predators and attackers.  The quills are really spiny hairs with barbs on the end, like a fish hook.  If you have ever gotten stuck by a fish hook or a quill you know that those barbed tips make it very difficult to get out of your skin!

If Pokey feels threatened, she makes all her quills stand up on end, which makes her look huge and bushy and scary.  That is enough to make most people and animals run away and leave her alone.  No one wants to get stuck by those quills!  If something tries to attack her anyway, they will be very sorry because it is very painful to get a hand or face full of porcupine quills.

Obviously it is not a good idea to try to pet a wild porcupine.  But my dad and his friend Mark taught me a secret way to pet Pokey without getting stuck by the quills.  They teach lots of other people how to do it too, at the animal shows we do at parties, fairs and festivals.  So lots of different people have had the wonderful experience of petting Pokey and feeling her wiry hair and spiny quills.  Pokey likes to be petted, but you have to be very calm and gentle when you do it so that you don’t startle her.  She is a  very sweet porcupine but she scares easily.

Have you ever gotten to pet a porcupine?  Would you like to?


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