Happy Porcupine Appreciation Day (July 2)!
The porcupine, whose name comes from the Latin words meaning “quill pig”, is not to be confused with the equally lovable hedgehog—they are not even related! There is a whopping total of 58 species of porcupines worldwide, however here in the U.S. you are most likely to come across a North American porcupine (unless you’re visiting a zoo). These large prickly rodents are excellent tree-climbers and typically enjoy snacking on clovers and tree bark, amongst other yummy vegetarian goodies. Baby porcupines, also known as porcupettes, are born with soft, fluffy quills that quickly harden into sharp, pointy spines. So, as tempting as it may be, NEVER EVER hug a porcupine. Ouch!
In order to have a proper Porcupine Appreciation Day celebration, here is a list of fun things you can do!
- Create your very own pet pinecone porcupine.
- Learn all about Rico the Brazilian porcupine who lives at the Cincinnati Zoo in this educational “Home Safari” video (and squeal over his cute, wiggly snout).
- Since porcupines love to climb, take a trip to your local park to practice your climbing skills on the playground.
- Getting hungry? It must be time to make these adorably silly pretzel spike porcupine cupcakes!
(© Amber, Crazy Little Projects)
- Porcupines live in dens they find in hollow trees and rock crevices. Gather blankets, pillows, and chairs to build a porcupine den of your own.
- Now that you’re all cozy in your new porcupine den, grab a book and snuggle up! I recommend How to Potty Train Your Porcupine, by Tom Toro!
When two kids come across a porcupine on the side of the road, they decide to bring it home to keep as a pet. However, when they get home, their parents tell them that if they want to keep the porcupine, they must first potty train it. And if you watched the video of Rico from the Cincinnati Zoo, you’ll know that potty training a porcupine is not any easy feat.