‘Prickly’ Visitor at Alaska’s Katmai National Park Has Officials Busting Misconceptions

by Megan Molseed
(Photo By: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Some national park officials are sharing some fun facts about a prickly visitor after a porcupine pays an adorable visit to the Katmai National Park’s visitor center.

In an adorable Facebook post, we see the officials at Katmai national park as they face a very prickly visitor. The porcupine is clinging to a railing outside the visitor center. Porcupines such as this prickly little guy don’t often pop into the visitor’s area of the Alaskan national park so park officials took the opportunity to bust some popular porcupine misconceptions.

Busting Some Porcupine Myths As Katmai National Park Hosts An Unusual Visitor

“Porcupines. They just want to cuddle…and a park stamp,” quips the National Park Service in a recent Facebook post. Then, the experts took advantage of the adorably unique situation…tossing out some interesting porcupine facts.

“How about some fun porcupine facts?,” inquires the Facebook message. “Here we go.”

The first fact notes that a porcupine such as this one at the Katmai National Park is also called “Needle Beaver.

They have “approximately 30,000 quills on their body.” Of course, the experts note…this means the Needle Beaver is very much not a hugger.

In the post, the National Park Service officials also note that porcupines cannot toss their quills. “Don’t get us wrong, they may throw some sassy barbs, (Porcupines are vocal critters and create a wide array of verbal cues, including shrill screeches, coughs, groans, whines, passive-aggressive insults, teeth chatters, and witty barbs.),” the Facebook post says. “[B]ut alas, no quill launching.”

The message adds that sometimes a loose quill or two may fall out of the porcupine’s back. This is normal and can give the illusion that the animal is shooting them out. But this Katmai National Park visitor won’t be shooting its quills!

Have You Ever Wondered What To Call A Baby Porcupine?

Another fact mentioned in the hilarious Facebook post- a baby porcupine is called a “porcupette.” Adorable, right? Porcupines are also slow pokes the message explains. And, they can get pretty stinky.

“Porcupines have a strong odor to warn away predators, which can increase when agitated,” the National Park Service’s post continues. “Turn it up!!! The smell has been described as similar to strong human body odor, goats, or some cheeses. (Oh, hey pal. Why are you holding a goat with a plate of old cheese?)”