Porcupines rely on their quills to stay safe – and so when this little guy lost his, he was definitely in trouble.
Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation in Texas found the porcupine in need back in January and immediately took him in. “He scarcely looked like a porcupine due to the condition of his skin: It was cracked and crusty and he had lost quills from his head to his tail,” the organization wrote on its Facebook page.
Rescuers could tell that the porcupine was suffering from skin issues, and knew he wouldn’t recover without their help.
“Recently we’ve been finding a lot of porcupines with severe skin problems,” Lynn Cuny, president of Wildlife Rescue & Rehabillitation, told The Dodo. “They do have some pretty serious problems, everything from mange to odd forms of eczema.”
The sick porcupine began treatment immediately, in hopes that he could soon be returned to the wild.
“Wildlife Rescue vet staff placed this patient on a strict regimen of antifungal and antiparasitic medications as well as homeopathic remedies,” the organization wrote.
While receiving care, the porcupine was kept with other animals in a habitat that resembled what he was used to, so that when he was finally able to return to the wild, the transition would be a little easier. The porcupine had his sores cleaned regularly, and amazingly, he began to recover at a speedy rate.
Within six months he was completely healed – and ready to go home.
This week, the porcupine was released into a protected site that the rescue considers “an ideal habitat for porcupines.”
“After this relatively brief interruption in his life,” the organization wrote, “he is now free to roam about, climb tall oaks, mingle with his own kind and one day do his part to increase the porcupine population.”