Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Porcupine


I'm sure everybody knows what a porcupine quill looks like, but have you ever actually seen the porcupine itself? A while ago I was at Schotia Private Game Reserve and while we were waiting for dinner in their open air boma, in strolled Mr Porcupine himself. It was the first time that I actually got to see one in real life. What a bonus to the evening's proceedings.

Porcupines are nocturnal animals that live in burrows. The forage at night, alone or in pairs. They eat plants, but will gnaw on old bones. They have long hair on their head and shoulders while their backs are covered with black and white quills. Up to three young are born in summer and they are widespread throughout South Africa except for the north west coastal area - The Wildlife of Southern Africa

6 comments:

  1. I have seldom seen the Porcupine alive in captivity but on the side of the road I have seen them many times. They are an awesome animal to watch and watch out for. Nice capture of the quilled rebel of the night.

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  2. Never seen one in the wild. How amazing that it should wander in! Stunning photographs!

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  3. There is always so much wonderful stuff going on over here on your blog. The snails were incredibly beautiful, but the circle of life is bizarre, isn't it?

    And this porcupine is the cutest little thing I have ever seen. Do they really shoot their quills?

    You know, my mother loved South Africa, and especially Port Elizabeth so much, she always got a faraway look in her eye when she talked about it. Now I know why! What a beautiful and interesting place!

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  4. I was trying to think if I had ever seen one in the wild and I don't think I have.

    How lucky to have this one stroll in.

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  5. hehe, nice to look at, but not someone you want to mess with! Makes me think of the old joke... how do Porcupines make love? .... very carefully!

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  6. That is so cool. We had them on our farm in the old Transvaal as it was then known, but now Limpopo Province. One night we actually caught one and kept it for a few weeks, before releasing it. How did we catch it - carefully, very carefully. Just throw a blanket over it and your are able to get the quills smoothed down - now you know.

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