A Baby Porcupine Has Become Best Friends With A Zookeeper's Pet Sausage Dog
When zookeeper Estelle took home Porcupette Diablo - the baby porcupine who was rejected from his mother - at Cotswold Wildlife park in Oxfordshire, she decided to introduce him to pet sausage dog Fig, to help with the animal's social interactions and overall development.
The two however, quickly became best of friends, which is now proving a little disconcerting given Diablo's lethal, spiny coat. But, despite the obvious hazards, the two pals spend their whole time playing together.
"When Diablo gets excited he will do a buckaroo-style run, where he thrashes his head around and jumps up in the air." says Estelle. "Under close supervision, they will run around the garden together and Fig has been very gentle and patient with Diablo."
Diablo was born in Cotsworld Wildlife Park in Burford to parents Hannah and Prickle but was soon taken in by Estelle after his mother rejected him at birth. The zookeepers put this down to the surprise arrival of Diablo, suggesting the mother was just not ready for another baby.
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"Hannah previously had twins in February that she is still caring for, so it is likely that she wasn't really ready for another baby so soon." says Estelle. "His unexpected arrival was a big surprise for all of us."
Estelle has been bottle feeding Diablo since birth and thanks to her tender loving care he has gone from the small weight of 300g to a whopping 1.8kg. He has also grown a softer side she says. Whilst quite feisty as a baby, he has grown more docile since spending all his time with doggy companion Fig.
"When Diablo was first born he was very feisty and wasn't scared to give me a nip. "However now he has settled into a good routine and will comfortably follow me around the kitchen and will even come to me for reassurance." she notes.
At the age of six weeks, he has now moved onto solid foods and has developed a particular liking for apples and sweet potatoes.
A huge relief for Estelle, who says she can now get more sleep because of the less demanding feeding times. But sadly for Fig, this means Diablo is old enough now to return to the zoo in a couple of days.
Featured Image Credit: Credit: SWNS