Fearless wild porcupine doesn't throw his quills
Is there any animal in the Northern Ontario forest that is more intimidating than a porcupine? Whether you are man or beast the thought of having a bad encounter with a porcupine is actually scary. The thought of having a number of needle sharp quills smacked into your body is terrifying. The thought of your dog, whimpering back to you with its tail between its legs and a face and mouth full of quills is just as bad. A porcupine is one of the slowest animals that roams about our bush country. Most any predator can easily catch up to this slow-moving omnivore, but very few are foolish enough to prey upon it. As such a slow-moving animal it does need some sort of defense mechanism in order to avoid extinction. Its coat of armor of hundreds of quills is one effective repellent.
There are only a couple of predators known to consistently take on a porcupine, the cougar and the fisher with their lightning fast offenses will readily prey upon the porcupine. The technique the rely upon is to flip the porky onto its back and quickly dispatch via a lethal attack on its unprotected belly. Not a foolproof method, a high percentage of fishers are known to have a quill or more festering within its body. This porcupine was located east of sault Ste Marie, Ontario, where a pair of labradoodles alerted their owner to it. Thankfully the dogs were controlled before things went south. Upon approach, the porcupine was found to be calmly stripping the tender bark off of a small maple tree. As it was approached, it began to chatter its teeth and stare at the approaching human. It made no effort to move away from or climb away from a possible approaching threat.
Some caution was used as there was some uncertainty as to how fast a porky could exit a tree and move on the ground, however all seemed calm. The most offensive aspect of this encounter was the stench emanating off of this critter. Day in and day out of crawling out of their den tree, while walking over their sizable accumulation of porky poo and urine, tends to give them this powerful odor. Approaching to within approximately a foot and a half, one thing was certain to the dog owner. The biggest risk of acquiring a painful number of quills was from a swat of an offending porcupine tail. A common belief among the uninformed is that there is a risk to this close approach via porky quills being launched at a threat. Truth of the matter is that porcupines don't throw quills.