SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Iowa wildlife officials had an unexpected guest.
The Iowa DNR stated that a porcupine was recently found in Sioux City in a hotel parking lot.
Iowa DNR staff relocated the porcupine to a wildlife area outside of town. They also gathered quills and feces from the porcupine for DNA samples. They want to learn more about the critter and where it possibly came from.
Porcupines aren’t common in Iowa, but they once were native to the area. Officials said they were wiped out in the mid-1800s to early 1900s. Now, they primarily live in forests in neighboring states north and west of Iowa. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute states that porcupines in North America usually live in “coniferous and mixed-forest habitats of Canada, the northeastern and western regions of the United States and northern Mexico.”
Wildlife officials added that the porcupine wasn’t dangerous and that they pose no threat to people. However, they could hurt curious cats or dogs, so it’s best to report them to animal control if they’re in city limits.