WASHINGTON — A well-known prehensile-tailed porcupine has died at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo said in a news release that Clark died Wednesday. He was euthanized due to his rapidly declining condition and quality of life.
Clark developed intermittent wheezing and a suspected upper-respiratory tract infection earlier this year that didn’t completely improve with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory treatment.
Clark was born at the Zoo in 2009 and was hand-raised by keepers after his mother was unable to care for him. The median life expectancy for prehensile-tailed porcupines in human care is 11 years old.
Prehensile-tailed porcupines are nocturnal and native to South America. All of their bodies, with the exception of their stomachs, are covered in short thick quills.