Conservation officers needed to rescue a baby porcupine after a Kelowna mother and her daughter abducted the prickly creature.
Residents living near Lillooet Park had been watching over a baby porcupine that moved into the forest-fringed area and were left devastated on Monday night.
“She is just so cute… my husband and I, we always kept a watch because she always did get lookers,” said Amber Batke.
Batke said they watched the baby porcupine, which they named Porky, to make sure she didn’t wander onto the road or get bothered by people.
Porky lived under a bush in Batke’s yard and would come out at night to snack on junipers.
Much like every night, Porky came out at dusk but this time caught the attention of a little girl and her mother.
“I looked out and I saw a laundry basket going into the car,” said Batke.
North Okanagan Zone Conservation Officer Ken Owens said distraught residents called them frantically asking for help after Porky was taken.
“They were using a towel and laundry basket, captured it, and put it in the vehicle and drove off,” said Owens.
A baby porcupine being stolen is a first for Owens and he says, he hopes it is the last.
“My daughter said this is how I think it would feel to be kidnapped,” said Batke.
Conservation Officers arrived at the home of the people who took the animal and found the porcupine in the laundry room.
“It is very unfortunate because porcupine have their tail which has about 30,000 quills on it and that is their defence mechanism. The towel touched the tail which released a lot of quills so that porcupine baby no longer has those quills,” said Owens.
Porky was reunited with her mother by conservation officers, who believe she will be OK and her quills will grow back.
“The biggest mistake that the public makes when finding young wildlife on their own is making the assumption that they're orphaned,” said Owens.” They often believe the mother’s no longer there, but she’s usually actually feeding nearby.”
Residents should be aware that removing a wild baby animal from its family will result in a fine of $345.
Anyone who is concerned about an animal should call 1-877-952-7277.