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Abbe-Freeland is home to several resident porcupines and we rehab and release many injured porcupines every year. As you might imagine, there are interesting challenges when working with porcupines: those quills can smart! However, we handle the porcupines that will be released as little as possible to make sure they don't become accustomed to humans. And the resident porcupines are very docile and gentle.


Did you know?

  • Porcupines are covered in up to 30,000 quills. Each quill is hollow, 2 to 3 inches in length, and lightly attached to the porcupine's skin. Despite popular belief, porcupines cannot throw their quills

  • The name porcupine comes from the the Latin, porcus (pig) and spina (thorn or spine). However, these "thorn pigs" are actually rodents, one of the largest found in North America

  • Porcupines are herbivores. Their favorite treats here at the sanctuary are sweet potatoes, carrots and corn on the cob

  • Baby porcupines are called "porcupettes"

Porcupines face many dangers living in our modern world. We rehab many porcupines that have been hit by cars, attacked by dogs (despite their excellent quilled defense), shot or injured in some other way. Orphaned babies are bottle-fed, weaned and taught to forage for food so they can be released into the wild when they're ready. 

Your tax-deductible donations help us give these wild ones a second chance.

We appreciate any amount you can give.  


Sully, pictured above, was nothing short of a miracle. He was "born" two weeks early when his mama was hit by a car and his tiny body was literally expelled. The people who hit his mother cut the umbilical cord and took him home. He arrived at the sanctuary when he was just 10 hours old. A tiny little porcupette, he required virtually round-the-clock care. Ultimately, he not only survived, he thrived! Sully was the perfect prickly ambassador for his species, charming everyone he met and helping them appreciate and respect porcupines and all wild ones. He left us too soon but will always live in our hearts.  

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