Examining a Baby Porcupine | Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet


NARRATOR: These slow-moving
rodents are one of the top road kills in Alaska, sometimes
leaving orphaned babies behind, which is where the Conservation
Center comes to the rescue. WOMAN: Oh my gosh,
here he comes. No! SARAH HOWARD: This is Twix. I knew it. I knew he’d be the cutest
creature on this planet. NARRATOR: This
one-month-old orphan named Twix is one of the
center’s newest arrivals. You are so cute. SARAH HOWARD: Twix was
rescued down by Juneau. His mom was found
deceased outside the den, and unfortunately,
someone walking along, they noticed that he was hanging
out with his dead mother. Mom was covered in parasites,
he was covered in parasites, so we did some lice
treatment today. I was hoping maybe you
could help me out just to make sure we were
parasite-free with the lice and just give him a little
bit of a physical overall. OK, I need to be professional. Can I? SARAH HOWARD: Go in
underneath the armpits. Oh, hi. Like a baby. WOMAN: This is awesome. I’m just trying
to gently squeeze his belly without getting
him too unhappy with me. So all I want to do
is really cuddle him, but he needs an exam first. I need to remain professional
and get my job done. Ow, He’s got a couple
of quills on his head. [squeaking] Look at those tiny
little quills. They are tiny but
they are sharp. You can actually cuddle them. Their quills are there,
but they’re not as many and they’re not as big. NARRATOR: To soothe
the prickly patient, Sarah has a sweet solution. SARAH HOWARD: Yeah, maybe
with the applesauce. [squeaking] I know– oh, oh. He’s like no touching me. SARAH HOWARD: Taking
care of a baby porcupine is definitely constant care,
around the clock, 24/7. You bring him into your
bedroom with you at night and make sure they’re
getting the bottles throughout the night, because
that’s what mom would do too, so you have to become mom. NARRATOR: Because he imprinted
on humans as a newborn, Twix cannot survive on
his own and won’t be released back into the wild. WOMAN: Grumpy. Can’t have any more applesauce. NARRATOR: He’ll live out
his days at the center, educating visitors. WOMAN: He is looking great. You guys have done a great job. Super healthy. Twix’s exam went great. His coat is really nice and
shiny, he’s growing normally, and there are no sign
of any parasites. No lice, no fleas, nothing. Unfortunately, we
have other work to do, so I’m going to have to pry
him out of the girls’ hands, but it was great to be
able to check him out. This is amazing. Getting close with the animal
and forming a bit of a bond with him, that’s important
in the whole process of trying to figure out
what’s going on with them OK. WOMAN: OK, bye, Twixie. It’s not just about the
science of veterinary medicine. It’s that I care
about these animals and that I want
them to feel better. [laughter] Oh, look! All right, see you soon. Thanks a lot.

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