An ailing raven had a favor to ask of Gertie Cleary, who spotted the black bird perched on a fence in Nova Scotia, Canada, with quills stuck to its face.
The young raven was clearly in pain from a porcupine attack, and it allowed Cleary to approach him to pull the quills out one by one. The incident was captured on video and has since gone viral, CTV news reports.
The clip shows Cleary approaching the raven with a glove and pulling three quills out of his side and one from his wing. The raven cries out whenever her hand approaches but doesn’t bite.
“It reminded me of a child with a splinter and when you pull a splinter out, they holler and screech and pull their hand away,” says Cleary.
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The two-minute video of the rescue has received more than 690,000 views. “Very bizarre he let us get that close and even more bizarre he let my Mom pull the quills out. He hung around for the day and was gone the next,” Cleary’s daughter, Colleen, wrote in the video’s description.
Once the quills were removed, Cleary brought the bird to her daughter's home and fed him. “Then, the next day, Colleen said he was at her doorstep, perched on her doorstep,” she said, adding he eventually flew off.
Porcupines, a rodent that has a coat of needle-like quills, don't shoot the sharp spines at predators -- rather, the quills easily detach when touched, according to National Geographic. The North American porcupine is the largest of the species and can contain more than 30,000 quills.
Hope Swinimer, founder and director of Hope for Wildlife, said Cleary did the right thing.
“It is important that people take interest in the natural world around them,” she said. “When they see an animal in distress, they should do something about it.”