The porcupine is a woodland mammal which loves to spend its days high up in a tree minding its own business.
You will often find them on a narrow branch huddled in a ball.
Porcupines are not a prolific mammal.
The gestation period is lengthy - up to 250 days.
The female gives birth to a single offspring anytime between April and August. The little ones are born with quills!
The young are weaned after 3 to 4 months.
I watched a female porcupine give birth several years ago and it was truly fascinating. The baby was born with a layer of skin around it which protected the mother. Once born, the mom opened up the "baggie of skin" and the little ones quills popped up and started to dry out and harden up.
These gentle animals will do you no harm as long as you don't get too close to them. They can't run and they can't shoot their quills; however, they will swish their tail around as a warning to stay clear.
If you should get a quill in your skin, do not cut the tip off as recommended by many misinformed people. It will do nothing to ease in the removal of the quill.
Quills have scales on the business end which swell when they enter flesh. The only way to remove them is to endure the pain and pull them out. Quills also have a nasty tendency to work their way into your body as you move. Get them out as soon as you can, disinfect the wounded area and chock it up to experience.
These docile creatures are slow, near sighted and absolutely the masters of chill.
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