Eight years ago, veterinarians at the Ramat Gan Safari and the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority treated a small porcupine whose mother was run over by a car, leaving her an orphan.
Since the porcupine was initially taken in by a family and raised inside a home, vets could not release her back into nature.
Instead, animal care experts placed the porcupine in a yard with three eagle owls, and it seemed that they got along swimmingly.
Then, zoo officials were surprised when they visited the pen and discovered porcupine droppings outside of the holding area.
The zookeepers did not think much of it and cleaned up the fecal matter.
A few weeks later, a keeper from the monkey cages, whose turn it was to make the rounds between the various pens, came upon the holding area to check whether all of the animals were in their place and their surroundings were in order.
Suddenly, the keeper noticed that the porcupine, Dorit, had left her pen. He immediately notified the other zookeepers who wondered how it was possible for her to leave her premises.
In light of the unusual developments, including the accumulation of porcupine droppings, the zoo officials placed a camera to keep tabs on Dorit whenever they weren’t around.
Lo and behold, the camera confirmed that Dorit did indeed remain in her pen, but it also captured another fascinating development – she had a visitor, a male suitor who would visit her pen every night for some tender love and care.
This gentleman caller would approach Dorit’s holding pen, spend a few hours of passion with his fresh squeeze, and then run off to his hiding place – until the next rendezvous.
Zookeepers say that this quilled Romeo came into the safari from outside, and that he tracked down Dorit by using his keen sense of smell.
Officials at the safari say that the male porcupine has managed to skillfully cover his tracks, since they have not seen him to this day.
Now Dorit’s handlers have a dilemma on their hands. Do they allow her companion into the holding pen with her? Or do they put the kibosh on this budding romance? Stay tuned.
In the meantime, judging by the porcupine droppings that are found each morning, it seems that the relationships continues to go strong.