Investigation underway after porcupines escape from zoo

Police said Tuesday that a missing porcupine had returned to the central German zoo from which it went missing while another one remains missing.

Indian crested porcupine (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Indian crested porcupine
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

One of two porcupines that went missing from a zoo in central Germany over the weekend has mysteriously made its way back home, police said on Tuesday.

According to a police report on the prickly incident, the two Indian crested porcupines, named Pinky and Brain for the characters in a popular 1990s animated series in which two lab mice try to conquer the world, were allegedly stolen from an animal park in the town of Thale.

While Pinky remains missing, a hiker reported to police seeing the animal about 6 miles from the zoo.

German police said the investigation of how the animals escaped remains open, as there was no way the porcupines could have left on their own.

Porcupine found in the Knesset's bathroom  (credit: HAIM BAR/SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATURE)Porcupine found in the Knesset's bathroom (credit: HAIM BAR/SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATURE)

Wandering porcupines

Indian crested porcupines have been known to make headlines for leaving on their own accord. In 2020, one was discovered in the Knesset's public bathroom.

The incident was reported by the Knesset's employees to the Jerusalem Bird Observatory, which belongs to the Nature and Parks Authority in Israel.

"The porcupine must have been looking for a place where it could find drinking water or just a place to hide and he found them both in there," said Amir Balaban, who manages SPNI's urban nature field.

"In general, porcupines avoid human contact; it extends its quills to frighten potential predators from approaching but does not attack of its own accord," he said.

"However, if one would choose to approach him despite its warnings, they might get hurt, in which case it's recommended to sanitize the wound, as the quills are typically unclean," Balaban added.

Omri Ron contributed to this report.