Traveling Man? Rarely-Seen Porcupine Caught at Iowa Hotel [PHOTOS]
Once upon a time, porcupines were common in Iowa. That's not the case anymore, which makes the sighting of one in Iowa all the more special.
The porcupine above (I have no idea if it was a male or female, by the way), was recently spotted in the parking lot of a hotel in Sioux City, in extreme western Iowa. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the legend of porcupines isn't true... they can't throw their quills. That made capturing the large rodent easy for DNR staff members who took it to a "more suitable wildlife area outside of town."
According to Siouxland Proud, porcupines were common in Iowa before their population was decimated in the state from the mid-1800s through the early 1900s. Here in the 21st century, they live in the forests of states to the north and west of Iowa and are rarely seen in the Hawkeye State.
The second-largest rodent in North America (beavers are the largest), the quills of a porcupine are used to protect them, but not the way most people believe. Instead, the quills can come loose and get stuck in the face of an attacking predator. A single porcupine can have as many as 30,000 quills. Adults weigh between 10 and 30 pounds.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources collected quills and feces from the porcupine, in an effort to determine where it may have come from.
If you see a porcupine in the city limits you should contact animal control, since they can injure dogs and cats.
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