Giant African porcupine finally caught in Pierce County

GRAHAM, Wash. — An exotic African-crested porcupine who had been wandering around Pierce County for over a year and a half has finally been caught.

A Soft Place to Land posted photos of the 30-pound critter on their Facebook page Monday. They said he immediately started munching on food once he was transported to his short-term housing.

The porcupine will get checked out by a veterinarian then he will be transported to the Oregon Zoo in Portland.

For the past 15 months, the crested porcupine became somewhat of a local celebrity after he was spotted eating people’s plants, chicken feed and cat food around Spanaway.

In May, Jasmine Glaze, a wildlife rehabilitator at Graham’s A Soft Place to Land, said she had been receiving calls about the porcupine for more than a year. She believed he was likely bred in captivity as a pet, and then released into the wild for an unknown reason.

African crested porcupines are native to Northern and Central Africa. They grow to around 30 pounds and have quills that can get 18-inches long.

They are not particularly dangerous unless provoked.

“They’re not aggressive,” Glaze said. “They’re not going to attack you. But if he’s scared he will try to defend himself.”

Glaze said the African crested porcupine is different from the North American porcupine because of its long Mohawk-like pattern of quills on its back. It’s also much larger.