porcupine reunited with mate
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
October 19, 2020 ·  3 min read

‘It’s a happy ending’: Porcupine reunited with mate after wildfire rescue

In September of 2020, a Washington woman took in a porcupine who was badly injured in the labor day wildfires. The porcupine reunited this month with its mate after a long month apart. 

Injured Porcupine Reunited with its Mate

After the labor day wildfires of 2020, Riley Wisdom was outside when she came upon a badly injured porcupine. The animal, now named Porky, was suffering from severe facial burns. In a happy ending, Porky made a full recovery, and the porcupine reunited with her mate this month. (1)

“She’s supposed to be wild,” said Wisdom. “When I let her go, she just took off, didn’t even look back. She was just gone immediately.” (1)

A Life Saved

Wildfires are devastating to the animals that live in those forests. Many of them die, are severely injured, and lose their homes. (1)

When Wisdom first found Porky, she was in rough shape. Her quills were completely gone and she could hardly see. She was weak, vulnerable, and on the brink of death. Naturally, Porky was scared. (1)

Wisdom refused to give up, however, and as she began to treat Porky and feed her, the porcupine began to warm up. She became a little bit more friendly each day and appeared to even enjoy the time she spent around her rescuer. (1)

Back to Her Natural Instincts

After a few weeks, Porky began to return to her old self. (1)

“She just kind of started acting like oh, leave me alone, I don’t need you anymore,” Wisdom recalled. “And then really, especially towards the end, she just really wanted nothing to do with me anymore.” (1)

She began raising her re-grown quills at Wisdom and her other caretakers and flopped around when they tried to give her medicine. Porky was ready to be a wild animal again. (1)

“I’m glad that she acted that way because it shows that I didn’t humanize her,” Wisdom said about her treatment by Porky. “I’m really glad because I didn’t want her to think that humans are friends, because not all humans are friends.” (1)

Read: Canines to the Rescue: Dogs Trained To Protect Wildlife Have Saved 45 Rhinos from Poachers in South Africa

Mission Accomplished

Wisdom explains that her intention was never to make Porky into a pet. She insists that wild animals belong in the wild, in their natural habitats, doing what their instincts prompt them to do. (1)

Beyond Porky’s redeveloped sense of hostility towards her, Wisdom also does not have a license to own wild animals. Even if she had wanted to keep her, legally she couldn’t. Since Porky was strong and acting independently again, the Department of Fish and Wildlife told Wisdom that it was time she is released back into her forest home. (1)

The Big Reunion

Everyone was excited to watch Porky’s triumphant return to the wild, but no one was as excited as Porky’s mate. (1)

“He immediately turned around in the tree and started smelling the tree that she was sitting in. He knew that she was there,” Wisdom explained. “She started teeth chattering and then he really got riled up about that. They were reunited and it was very happy.” (1)

Some of Porky’s other woodland friends began to gather around and all in all it was a happy moment for many. (1)

A Springboard for Wisdom’s Future

Wisdom has always been an animal lover, and since she first posted about her rehabilitation process with Porky opportunities have presented themselves for her to pursue her dream career. Rehabilitation centers have asked her to volunteer with them and she has applied to vet schools to turn her passion into a career. (1)

She applied to schools all over the country, but her top choice is her home-town university Washington State, if she gets in. (1)

“I really want to go to WSU, I just love it,” Wisdom said. “Also, I want to stay local, that way I can still do the wildlife rehabilitation while I’m in school.” (1)

Above all, Wisdom hopes that sharing her story will teach others to be more compassionate towards wildlife and to other people. She is very happy that Porky was able to return to her normal life, knowing that this isn’t always the case. (1)

“It’s a little bittersweet because I was attached to her,” Wisdom sighed. “But it’s a happy ending.” (1)

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