Killer Quills: Dog dies in stinging battle with porcupine

Killer Quills: Dog dies in stinging battle with porcupine

Shopian: A porcupine inflicted grievous wounds on a stray dog in a fight and the dog succumbed to the injuries three days later, here in Shopian district of south Kashmir.

Photos of the dead dog show many quills pierced in its body, including at the nose, head, chest and other body parts.

Wildlife experts call this incident a rare and interesting case. They say that there are multiple example where stray dogs have caused injuries and deaths of wild animals but here the attacker has become the victim.

Porcupine quills have sharp tips and overlapping scales or barbs that make them difficult to remove once they are stuck in another animal’s skin. Porcupines grow new quills to replace the ones they lose in an attack or self-defence.

In the last many years the number of porcupines has increased in many south Kashmir areas, particularly in Pulwama district where this rodent has taken heavy toll of horticulture trees by damaging the barks on the trunks. However, no such case has yet been reported where a porcupine has killed a dog in a conflict.

Intisar Suhail, one of the most senior wildlife experts in Kashmir, said, “As far as my knowledge is concerned, the dog must have tried to eat the porcupine, but in doing so, many quills pierced into its body. The photographs show that a quill is also inserted near the heart. It could have penetrated the heart and the dog may have died due to that,” he said.

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