Game commission subcontractor takes porcupine from downtown Wilkes-Barre back to natural habitat

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – An elusive porcupine, which has spent the past week making a tree outside the Eyewitness News studios its home, is headed back to its natural habitat.

Frightened and cowering in the corner of the Eyewitness News parking lot, “Mark Quiller” the young porcupine ran out of hiding spaces.

“I didn’t want it to run out into the street,” said Al Monko, Maintenance Supervisor, Eyewitness News.

That was the concern of my co-worker Al Monko since day one when the prickly creature scratched against one of the tv studio’s front windows then scampered up a nearby tree on South Franklin Street. But Tuesday morning, Monko became a pied piper of sorts.

“I saw the porcupine coming down the tree. It ran across our parking lot into the back alley. So, I tried to get it to come back and was able to get it cornered,” said Monko.

Getting the porcupine to this point wasn’t easy. A fire truck and bucket truck unsuccessfully tried to round-up the rodent just four days earlier but it seemed content to remain in the tree.

We called in John Ackourey, a subcontractor with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, who coaxed the porcupine into a pet carrier.

But when you mess with a porcupine, you might get an unwanted souvenir.

“Ahh! Mark, you can feel how tight that quill is in there,” said Ackourey.

With the porcupine safe, there was just one question.

So where exactly was the elusive porcupine going at night when it would come down from the tree? Ackourey believes it was trying to make the ground floor of center city its home looking for such things as twigs, stems and buds to feast on.

Mark Quiller is now headed to its natural habitat thanks to some teamwork.

“And that’s what this was. Another team effort. Everyone working together to make a positive difference for this beautiful creature,” said Ackourey.

A beautiful creature that hopefully gives up the urge for city living for good.

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