Porcupines are slow-moving and docile animals. They don’t harm anyone and they are no threat to other animals, unless they are attacked. Armed with thousands of sharp quills, their only defense is to bristle their quills and swing their bodies to jab an attacker in the mouth.
Contrary to the widespread myth, they cannot shoot their quills. They can’t even move quickly so they would be easy prey without them. Their natural reaction is usually to stand their ground or to slowly walk away. They will climb a tree if given the chance.
Porcupines eat plants and bark, scraping off the tough outer bark to get at the soft and tasty inner bark of trees. They will also chew on wood, especially if it has been coated in salt, such as the posts at the side of a highway.
They are adorable creatures with a furry face that resembles a beaver. Even their large teeth are similar to those of a beaver. Humans don’t normally get a close look because these animals are shy and will retreat or move higher in a tree.
Tom was out in the wilderness near Sault St. Marie when he came across this very fat porcupine happily chewing on a sapling. Tom was taking his dogs for a walk on the trail but saw this creature in the tree. He secured his dogs and then decided to walk over and see the porcupine close up.
Expecting that it would climb or walk away to safety, he believed his approach would prevent a meeting with his dogs. Instead of retreating, the porcupine looked at him calmly and then chattered his teeth. Tom is a friendly fellow and he began recording and speaking with the porcupine in a hilarious fashion, asking for a repeat of the teeth chattering.
As if happy to oblige, the porcupine actually did what was asked. Tom, ever the gentleman, thanked the porcupine for being so agreeable and ended the recording. The result is a very unusual conversation and exchange between a man and a wild porcupine.