Being a farmer is tough because it involves physical work, a continuous battle with the weather and with market prices too. It requires resilience and a resourceful mind, just as this potato farmer from South Africa had. His fields of potatoes were always in danger of becoming the food of varmints, so he set up traps and cages to stop them from eating his crops. But he wasn’t expecting to find this cute little guy! One year later, the rescued ‘pest’ comes back to its adoptive family to surprise them!

20. The Cutest Pest

The farmer thought that he might have caught a skunk or even a small fox, but he was surprised to find a cute little pest. Here is what he found!

19. A Baby Porcupine!

Not many farmers let their varmints live after they’ve eaten their crops, but this farmer saw a tiny porcupine and didn’t have the heart to do it. Instead, he called the Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage for help. The porcupine is now an adult and has a family of its own! Check them out at #8!

18. Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage

This is the place where orphaned or injured wildlife is taken care of, by teaching children to take care of the animals. The Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage is funded through public donations and it’s also focusing on teaching the community about wildlife and decreasing animal poaching.

17. The Volunteers Also Educate High School Students

Every week the volunteers from the Wildlife Orphanage teach high school children how to take care of nature and how to improve their community. Check out other animals that they have taken care of at #3 and #1.

16. Half a Loaf of Bread

The baby porcupine was so small, that not even the directors of Daktari – Ian and Michele Merrifield, knew what to feed him. They named him Spikey and started searching for information on what could a baby porcupine eat.

15. Bottle-Feeding the Baby

They didn’t find any website to guide them on what should they feed a baby porcupine, so they fed it cow milk with egg yolk and also protexin – to help with digestion. Here’s what it looks like when chewing on an apple. Adorable, right?

14. Eating and Sleeping – Spikey’s Favorite Past-time

Spikey started growing and eating fruit, vegetable and porridge. He was fond of the volunteers and let them pet him, or at least pet the spots that were… soft. You won’t believe how he looks like as an adult porcupine!

13. The Porcu-Pet Kept Growing

As Spikey grew and grew, he became thorny, but he was sweet natured and adored getting stroked. The staff from the Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage had to be careful how to touch him but he sure liked to cuddle! Smile for the camera, Spikey!

12. Cuddle Spikey, If You Dare!

Spikey loved to cuddle and to get belly rubs and as a reward, he would jump in the volunteers’ laps and nuzzle their necks. But soon he had to be released into the wild… at least for a while!

11. Spikey Made a Lot of Friends

Spikey was adorable and loved by everyone. He grew up in the orphanage and after a year, when he reached the size of a bucket, the directors decided that it was time for Spikey to go back into the wilderness.

10. Could He Survive?

The staff was worried that Spikey grew dependent on his new adoptive family. He was now an adult and he could be happier if he was free.

What happened after he was released, surprised everybody!

9. Coming Back Home

Although Spikey was free in the wilderness, he was always welcomed back by the volunteers. Spikey would keep on returning either for food or for cuddles. He also came back to show off! Guess what he brought with him!

8. Spikey is… Spikette

One day Spikey came back, a routine for some time, but the porcupine didn’t come to get food or to receive belly rubs. It turns out that their beloved Spikey was a lady porcupine. She had some adorable proof with her!

7. More Babies!

While everybody raised Spikey and thought that it was a male porcupine, it looks like Spikey came back from wilderness to show off his… we mean HER babies. It seems that Spikette found herself a family in the wild and is doing well.

6. Ian and Michele Merrifield are Proud Parents

Ian said that he feels like a proud parent to see the porcupine found herself a good life in the wild and that she has babies. She even came back to the Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage to show her babies to the volunteers. Check out more cute photographs!

5. Porcupine Babies – Cuteness Overload

The cute two babies were nervous around the volunteers and hid behind the buildings at the Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage. The local community has now an increased porcupine population with Spikey’s help.

4. Coming Back for Company

Spikey and her babies keep coming back to the school for some snacks and strokes on their puffy heads. The mother porcupine wouldn’t have made it without the kind farmer and the Daktari School.

3. Daktari Volunteers

Giving back to the community is what the volunteers from the Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage are doing. Their program is all about changing the lives of animals in Africa for the better, while also teaching children about conservation and how to treat the wild animals.

2. Daktari School – A Beautiful Story

Children get to visit the wildlife orphanage and attend a teaching program for five days in which they learn how to work with the rescuers to take care of wild animals.

1. Ambassadors for The Wild Animals

Each animal that gets saved by the Daktari Volunteers becomes an ambassador for their kindness and helps in educating the community about the wilderness.