Topeka Zoo Loses "Prickles" the Porcupine

By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp
By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp

TOPEKA, KS - The Topeka Zoo is saddened to report that "Prickles", the North American Porcupine passed away Monday afternoon due to complications from heart disease. Prickles went into cardiac arrest during an exam.

In July 2011 zoo veterinary staff determined that Prickles had developed heart disease. He was immediately placed on medication to manage his heart condition, and his diet was altered. He was stable and doing well until recently, when he began to have a loss of appetite, hence an exam was scheduled. Despite exceptional care provided by Zoo staff, medication and diet changes were no longer effective in fighting the disease and Prickles passed away.

Prickles came to the Topeka Zoo in October 2003 and was estimated to be 12 years old. He was a favorite of many guests and was known by kids as the "dancing porcupine." He will be missed.

The average life span of a North American Porcupine is approximately 10 to 15 years old in captivity.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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