Deer in Need; Baby Porcupine Indeed!

We first heard about a deer in dire straits (like this deer from last year) from Kim on May 1. The deer had her head completely encased in a plastic container from those little orange cheese puffs. She probably stuck her head in initially to lick off the salt.
Long story short–we and the neighbors who see the deer have been trying to catch her for a week. How has she lasted for over 8 days without food and water? No clue.

Today, Wildwoods super-volunteer Peggy Aldrich chased the deer down into a boggy area, captured her, and pulled off the container. Then her son Ian pulled the deer out of the bog onto dry land. The deer is skin and bone, but alive. Thanks to everyone who helped!
Please remember to crush any garbage like this that could entrap an animal. We also wash ours out.

Q: What should you do if you see a porcupette (baby porcupine) all by itself at the base of a tree?

A: If it’s bright-eyed and alert, as this one is, and isn’t next to a dead mom, leave it alone. These babies can’t climb well at first, so mom parks them on the ground while she goes foraging up in the trees (kind of like deer, who leave their offspring by themselves for hours at a time when they are young and can’t keep up). Mom will come back to feed her baby, and then they’ll amble off to the next bunch of trees together.

If the porcupette is injured, looks sick, or is next to a dead mom, call a rehabber, as the baby may need help.

How do you pick up a porcupette? Very carefully! Leather gloves are a good idea. Also, you could put a cardboard box in from if the baby, and gently encourage her in. Never try to raise a baby porcupine, or any other orphaned wild animal, yourself. Yes, they are ridiculously cute, and that’s a pretty strong temptation. However, they have specific dietary needs, and it’s easy to sicken or even kill them without the proper knowledge and training.

Thanks to all the wonderful people out there who are keeping a guardian eye on the babies of the wild, and thanks in particular, to Joe, who called us about this little muffin!

Learn more about North American porcupines here.


Love our work? Want to help us save more lives? Make a tax-deductible gift to Wildwoods here.

1 Comment


about 10 years ago

That's sad about the deer, glad that you folks were able to rescue it!

One time I saw a skunk with a jar on its head by my house. I wasn't sure if it was glass or plastic, so I ran home and came back with a knife and a hammer. Thankfully, it was plastic! As soon as I punctured the jar, it broke a vacuum and it slid off the skunks head. The peaceful and grateful skunk just looked at me and waddled away.

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