A Perilous Prison
You’ve heard the one about the suicidal porcupine that “quilled” itself? It was no joking matter when Cape of Good Hope SPCA Inspector Carina Bodenstein responded to a call for help with a porcupine who had fallen into an open drain culvert in Peak Road in Fish Hoek on Sunday afternoon.
Assessing the situation, Inspector Bodenstein surmised that the poor porc’ had likely been out rooting for a tasty bulbous snack when the ground fell away before him and he found himself quite suddenly in this perilous prison plight.
Porcupines have poor climbing skills so the chances of him climbing his way out of his smooth-walled concrete cell were slim to none. In the heat of the day without any water, he would not have lasted long. Luckily for our pointy friend Inspector Bodenstein knew immediately what to do and using a strong, wide-mesh net she was able to carefully, and with much patience, coax him into being rescued.
Once safely inside the net and taking care not to get his quills in a bunch, she raised him out his dangerous den and (carefully!) released him back into his home range.
Prevention is Better Than Rescue
Of course she made sure that the culvert cover was securely replaced to ensure that she, or any of her fellow inspectors at the Cape of Good Hope Wildlife Unit, aren’t called back to the same culvert for the same reason.
We consider ourselves very lucky to be able to share our urban environment with such a diverse range of wildlife in the Western Cape and we can all do our bit to help make sure our wildlife species thrive amongst us. Report any open drains or uncovered culverts to your municipal office, security provider or the SPCA wherever you see them as they can be literal death traps for our wild neighbours. Report any wild animals in distress by calling 0217004158/9 or 0833261604 (after hours).