GENTRY COUNTY, Mo — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) says two dogs in Gentry County were involved in a rare porcupine encounter. Gentry County is in northwest Missouri.
The MDC says the dogs’ owner had to take them to the veterinarian to remove the quills from their faces.
Porcupines are not native to Missouri and have only been documented a few times in the state.
However, the MDC says while the animal was not physically seen there is clear evidence it exists in northern Missouri.
According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, porcupines are covered in about 30,000 quills. They cannot throw or shoot their quills. The quills are so lightly attached that they come off easily when a predator encounters them.
Porcupines are more likely to flee predators, but if cornered, it will erect their quills, turn their back to the attacker and lash its barbed tail.