Paraplegic Porcupine in Sao Paolo Zoo Is Our Animal Super Hero
Things were not looking particularly good for the female porcupine who was delivered into Piracicaba Municipal Zoo's care. Vets quickly figured out that the animal, which had been rescued from outside a nightclub, was paraplegic and couldn't use its hind legs. She was about to be euthanized when a 22-year-old veterinary intern came up with a genius idea: crafting a porcupine-sized wheelchair.
Jhesebel Santana created the two-wheeled, buggy-esque structure from less than 5 buck's worth of plastic piping after seeing Youtube clips of similar inventions for dogs. The porcupine is apparently taking to its snazzy new wheels with aplomb and will soon be reintegrated with others of her species.
The animal rescue team that had brought the creature in originally thought she might have broken her back in a fall, but Marianna Cury, the zoo's director, disagrees. "We suspect that the female has taken a stick in the back, because the species is used to climbing trees or other high places," said Cury. "Even if it fell, it would not suffer a serious injury like this." Which is tragic to think about — porcupines don't have the same look-at-me-I'm-adorable status as puppies playing soccer or chimera cats — but the porcupine (whom I wish had a name available online, so I didn't have to keep referring to her as just "the porcupine") is certainly making the best of her bad circumstances. If you're having a particularly bad day in the coming week, just think: if a porcupine who can't use her rear legs can hack it, so can you.
Check out the video below to see her tooling around in her new getup like no one's business:
And there's no way to know for sure which dog-on-wheels video inspired Santana to get creative, but it might have been this one:
Image: Ruptly TV