Prickly lil’ critter’s narrow escape from harvester

2014-12-18 00:00

THE harvesting season has put ­pressure on FreeMe, as they have begun with their rescue and search for animals becoming unintentional victims of farmers and their machinery.

A baby porcupine was rescued in Nottingham Road after it was found by a week ago by a farmer busy ploughing on a farm in the Kamberg area. He called FreeMe hoping they would give sanctuary to the animal.

FreeMe spokesperson Roz Marais said during the planting and harvesting seasons, this member of the rodent family is very visible in farming areas, attracted by the abundance of fresh produce. “The porcupine can be quite destructive to crops such as potatoes, butternut and pumpkin, and for this reason they are often trapped or ­hunted. They are also entirely vegetarian with very strong claws for digging out bulbs and roots,” she said

Marais said porcupines, contrary to popular belief, “do not shoot their quills when alarmed by danger but reverse into the threat at high speed. The quills are very loosely attached and have a barb so they pull out and stay in the target, causing a great deal of pain and infection as pieces can break off in the flesh when removed,” she added.

Marais also pleaded with farmers to be vigilant when ploughing.

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