Camila Villafañe

By Camila Villafañe

LifeBuzz Staff

Porcupine Returned To Her Rescuers With A Wonderful Surprise.

The incredible team of rescuers, volunteers and staff members at the DAKTARI Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage in South Africa realized they were about to face their biggest challenge yet when they were called to care for a new orphan who needed their help. To say this little fellow would change their life is an understatement…

Farmer Discovers A Critter

Farmer Discovers A Critter

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A farmer on a potato farm in Hoedspruit, a South African town, realized that there were signs of animals eating his crops, but didn’t think much of it. After all, this wasn’t really unusual, given that potatoes are extremely tempting for many wild animals. Unfortunately, this happens a lot, especially now that harvest time is approaching. As a result, farmers set up all kinds of devices to kill pests and protect their fields. But when this farmer realized what one of his traps had caught that day, he was pretty surprised, to say the least.

Critter In The Cage

Critter In The Cage

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As the farmer approached the trap, he realized he had caught something. Upon closer inspection, he saw there was a tiny one-week-old baby porcupine inside, so he retrieved it. Given that he had no clue as to how to care for such a special little fellow, he decided to do the best next thing. He didn’t even consider killing the “porcupett," but he immediately remembered there was a team of volunteers and rescuers at the DAKTARI Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage, and gave them a call. They gladly told the farmer that they’d happily take him in.

Spikey

Spikey

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So many incredible people volunteer at the DAKTARI Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage, which was founded in 2006. Ian and Michelle Merrifield started the group and are co-directors who seek to educate and involve the children in their city to appreciate wildlife, their environment, and help their community grow, and give the kids a better quality of life. But when they took in this pint size porcupett, named “Spikey” by the volunteers, they couldn’t imagine such a tiny little thing could be hiding such big surprises!

What Should We Feed Him?

What Should We Feed Him?

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Even though the volunteers had cared for other animals in the past, Spikey presented a few dilemmas. First of all, they had no clue what to feed him. Since Spikey is just a baby, they assumed he’d need to start feeding off a bottle, but they didn’t know exactly what to put inside. Despite researching online for quite some time, they were still unsure. Ian said, "We used mammals that we cared for before as a baseline and we added egg yolk and cream to normal cow milk and we added protexin, which is a bacteria that they need to aid in digestion."

He Really Loved Eating

He Really Loved Eating

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As you can imagine, the incredible team at DAKTARI Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage were able to figure it out, so Spikey quickly started to evolve, and was living for his customized diet. He started eating maize porridge, which included bits of fruit and vegetables. Then he moved on to whole fruits, and veggies, which he was able to eat without any help. Ian said, "Spikey really liked eating. Eating and sleeping were his whole life.” But the staff didn’t realize that as Spikey was growing, and growing, he’d eventually become quite thorny.

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