An Okanagan hiker shared an image of a porcupine in a treetop on social media on May 9. She was surprised to see the robust rodent reach such heights. (Submitted photo)

Porcupine climbs up tree, surprises Kelowna hiker

‘Who knew porcupines were tree climbers?’

An Okanagan woman saw an unexpected ‘point’ of interest along a hike yesterday.

While hiking in the Wilden neighbourhood, Karen Beeby was surprised when she saw the spiky silhouette of a porcupine in a treetop.

“Who knew porcupines were tree climbers?” she posted on Instagram on May 9.

Beeby, who was hiking with a friend and their three dogs, told the Capital News that one of the dogs had been quilled by a porcupine a few weeks prior.

She said the three dogs sat at the bottom of the tree, sniffing and barking at the porcupine, and “that’s when [they] saw all of the quills standing on end.”

“It was eating a lot of foliage and hanging on to the branch with one arm,” Beeby said.

When they circled back after their hike, she added, the porcupine had moved even higher up in the tree.

READ MORE: Porcupine taking a stroll in the Yukon turns heads

According to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development website, porcupines have fleshy soles and five toes on their hind feet, and are well developed for climbing.

In fact, the report said, young porcupines are “precocious and can climb trees within a few hours of birth.”

The porcupines climb trees to eat the buds and leaves.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

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