porcupineTo spot a porcupine in Delhi’s vanishing forests is a rare sight, but to spot a swimming porcupine is even rarer!

On Monday night, the Wildlife SOS Helpline team was contacted by the police, who had received a call about a porcupine who had fallen into a well at the Signature Bridge construction site in Wazirabad.

The Wildlife SOS Helpline team, consisting of Munish Gautam, Abhishek and Kamal rushed to the location, reaching there by midnight. To the WSOS team’s horror, the porcupine was fighting hard and swimming to stay afloat.

The WSOS team was informed that the well in which the porcupine had fallen was over 18 meters deep and it would be extremely dangerous to try to step into the water. The WSOS team then started a two hour rescue operation and gently maneuvered the now tiring porcupine to the edge of the water using nets and specialised grasper animal rescue equipment. “The porcupine was exhausted with the effort of staying afloat and would have drowned if there was any further delay. We had to get it out fast,” said Munish – who handles the 24 x 7 Wildlife SOS Helpline.

Porcupine in wellThe risky rescue operation ended successfully in the early hours of the morning with the rescue of the porcupine. The animal was examined for injuries and then released safely in a nearby forest area. “The porcupine was very relieved and his wild instincts didn’t permit him to be subjected to capitivity,” said Abhishek of Wildlife SOS. He seemed to be in a tearing hurry to get back to the forest so off he went!

According to Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS: “We very often don’t realize the rich biodiversity that Delhi’s habitat and forests support. Urbanization and loss of natural habitat endangers the very existence of species like the Porcupine. The porcupine is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and is an endangered animal.”

The Wildlife SOS Helpline has been having VIP rescue calls all week long, with snakes being sighted at the residences of MS Gill and Rahul Gandhi, among others. The Wildlife Helpline runs only through private donations and can be reached on 9871963535.