Rock Porcupine

Rock Porcupine-Erethizon Dorsatum

Color- covered from head to foot in sharp, hair-like quills of varying browns and whites; undercoat dark brown with the outer coat lighter   /   Size-twenty pounds    /  Shape-three feet long  body  /  Legs- 4, short front legs and longer back legs

Region- Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Porcupines are large nocturnal rodents which will create a den in any area it feels is safe, including the underside of decks, sheds, garages, and other outbuildings within the Calgary area. Porcupines are primarily herbivores. They feed on the soft layer of bark on trees, and other types of foraged roots, sticks and root vegetables. This is a particular worry because porcupines prefer trees with smooth bark such as most decorative yard trees have.  The porcupine is not a deliberate nuisance to humans or animals but this destructive appetite and the unappealing pain of quill exposure has humans seeing this animal as an unwanted guest.   Quills are a particularly serious threat to dogs as dogs are aggressive and curious and the barbs, once in a dog’s snout, are not easily removed.  A costly visit to the vet will often follow.