Porcupines become fashion victims in S.Africa
By Andrew Quinn
JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s porcupines are being slaughtered so their quills can be turned into tourist souvenirs, an animal welfare group said on Sunday.
“Porcupines are being hunted wholesale for the fashion market and nobody has any idea how many are being killed,” said Christina Pretorius of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
“The craze for porcupine products has really taken off over the last three years and we worry about the impact on the porcupine population.”
Quills are used in tourist products such as pens and lampshades in a new, unregulated industry, Pretorius said.
These are South African porcupines.
My grandmother used to have a box with black and white porcupine quills.
One might hope people might have become wiser since that time …
Research from the University of East Anglia has shown that the consumption of the South East Asian porcupine as a speciality food is having a devastating effect on wild populations. Overhunting has been cited as the porcupine’s greatest threat, and the 1990s saw a fifth of the population wiped out: here.
Common Porcupine Erethizon dorsatum: here.
- Dogs get painful lesson from porcupine (journalstar.com)
- ScienceShot: License to Quill (news.sciencemag.org)
- Stop For A Moment And Consider The Tragic Cuteness Of A Porcupine (buzzfeed.com)
- 10 things to know before visiting South Africa (cnn.com)
- 6 Giant Rodents (bpwriter22.wordpress.com)