From sickly and prickly to fully recovered: Virginia porcupine returns to the wild

A little over a week after being found in a Winchester, Virginia, parking garage, a male porcupine is back to living in the wildlife.

The staff at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center in Boyce reported that they released the porcupine “in an undisclosed location” after treating him for a lung infection.

In a statement released by the center, Dr. Jen Riley, the director of veterinary services at the wildlife center, said they just “don’t want people to go out looking for him.”

Initially, in an interview with WTOP last week, Riley said the porcupine’s prognosis looked questionable.

One of the latest patients taken to a Virginia wildlife center for medical care didn’t have fur or feathers, but it was covered in quills. (Courtesy Blue Ridge Wildlife Center)

However, after treatment, he began eating and, by Friday, he was deemed healthy enough to be released.

Porcupines had been nearly wiped out in Virginia by the mid-19th century. However, over the past 30 years, Riley said, there have been more sightings in the northwest area of the state.


Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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