Porcupine sleeping on a branch

— By Ann Loyola — Teddy is a porcupine. He’s about five years old and came to Earthfire Institute as a private rescue four years ago. About a month after I began working here, Susan suggested I choose some animals for mutual mentoring and my first choice was Teddy. Now, three months later, I spend a part of every workday with him, usually in the morning. Sometimes we just chat about the weather and other times the topics are more complex. Before my regular visits, Teddy had become withdrawn and his appetite was off; sometimes he stayed in the back of his den and refused to eat. He was very quiet. I didn’t know that porcupines could make any kind of sounds other than the gnawing...

White bison eating hay

Between getting ready for winter and speaking at a variety of events, we've been especially busy lately. But Dante Rios, our animal caretaker, has been delighting us with beautiful pictures of our animal residents. Please enjoy! 

(Click to enlarge)

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Raccoons emerging from a crate

— by Dawn Harrison — The weather was perfect and the girls were ready, so we knew it was the right day for releasing our rehabilitation raccoons. We found the ideal spot with a small stream and ample natural food in a location where we can provide supplementation if they need it to thrive through their first winter. The girls, dubbed Big and Medium, were loaded into a crate for the short trip to their new home. Upon arriving, Big and Medium were very inquisitive yet reluctant. After all, they didn’t know exactly what was going on. They peeked out of the kennel, took a few steps out, and then went back in. When we took the top off, they finally got a good look at the welcoming meadow...

Porcupine napping on a log

— by Dawn Harrison — Moving days are stressful enough, but imagine if you were moved and no one told you what was happening. That would quickly turn a stressful day into a scary day. For Piney the Porcupine, moving day was a little scary. He had to wait in an unknown area with the sounds of construction going on around him. Luckily, it was a short-lived experience and he wasn’t actually getting relocated---he was getting an upgrade. Even then, I wanted to make sure he knew what was going on, so I did something that usually works for calming down kids and dogs: I sat and told him a story: Once upon a time, there was a handsome porcupine named Piney. One morning, Piney woke up to find...

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