Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quilla the Porcupine

Slowly but surely, I will be introducing you to all the animals and birds here at The Toucan Rescue Ranch...so meet Quilla!

Quilla is a Mexican hairy porcupine who arrived here having been found up on a second story balcony of a friend's hotel! We are not sure how she got there or where her mother was, so these kind people picked her up, cared for her and bought her over to us. She was a tiny thing, probably just a week or two old when she arrived, and now she is blossoming into a beautiful young porcupine!

The quills are yellow and are very sharp, and this is a problem, because Quilla likes to cuddle, yes you read right, Quilla is a cuddly porcupine. Yikes!

She loves to be petted and have her quills and hair "combed" with my fingers and hikes up to my shoulder to give kisses with her huge soft nose. As you can imagine this gets a bit tricky sometimes! She does not realize the quills sometimes get stuck to my clothes or to me!

A few days ago we did a tour for some folks from Costa Rica and Guatemala. There was an older gentleman from Guatemala who told me that the Indians there used the porcupine quills for tooth aches, that they would stick the quill in the gum and it would provide some anti-inflammatory relief...well, I've had a few stuck in me accidentally and it hurts! I don't think I will be trying this anytime soon!

Not long ago I wrote to several friends on our mailing list asking for help to build a a nice large enclosure for her, and as you can see, with the great donations from Kimberley Laferriere, Cornerstone Builders of Atlanta, and The German School of Washington D.C. along with Don and Jean Molde, Terrie Velasquez, Jacqueline Monacell of http://www.yourcostaricacontact.com/ and Jessica Schoepen, plus our wonderful guests, we were able to build her a nice palace!

We were very excited for her to move off the porch, as she is getting super smelly...so off to the new cage we went. For several nights I went out to visit her and tried to get her used to the new home, it was windy and raining and she was in a bit of a panic about all the space and elements and refused to eat unless I fed her! So, after 5 days she is now back on our porch! We have several ideas to make her home cozier and are stocking piles of bromeliads and branches from the farm to decorate with, as well as building a larger sleeping box for her...so we are going to try again soon, and hope the transition will be less traumatic!

Thank you all for your support!

1 comment:

  1. She was one of our favorites! That new enclosure is amazing; hopefully she thinks so soon.