You may have heard about zoos letting penguins parading around freely while parks are empty, but now there's a lucky Florida porcupine that's getting in on the fun. Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park took its porcupine Pierce for an animal adventure today to visit other residents at the park. In an adorable video, Pierce is seen scurrying around the zoo visiting African habitats. Is there anything more wholesome than this?
You can watch Pierce waddle along behind a ZooTampa staff member on his walk, meeting new furry friends. Pierce wanders right up to the windows, with the video featuring little quips as if he were speaking while checking in on his friends.
On his adventure through the park, Pierce checked on the red hogs, hung out with the hippos lounging in their pool, peeped the painted dogs, and said hi to Zack the Okapi. The porcupine finished up his walk with the best stop of them all — snack time!
Pierce is an African Crested Porcupine, the largest porcupine breed in the world. These spiny rodents can grow to weigh more than 60 pounds. Pierce's tough and spiky exterior seems at odds with his playful spirit, but people seem to be loving him anyway.
One Facebook user commented, "This is such a great idea! I would love to see all zoos continue doing this for the animals even after this is all over!"
Another user was happy for the distraction, commenting, "...Such a gentle relief from the world. So glad zoos have become more rooted in science, genetics, and education than in the past."
Pierce isn't the only critter enjoying some freedom either. On March 18, 2020, Zoo Tampa's penguin pals Tiziri and Palmira paid a visit to the parks manatees — these cuddly sea cows have no business being as photogenic as they are either.
While Zoo Tampa is temporarily closed with an anticipated re-opening date of March 29, 2020, according to their website, more than 1,100 animals live at the zoo where employees are still overseeing their care, visiting the vet, and enjoying daily enrichment activities.
Employees are also conducting annual maintenance, general cleaning, and further preparations for the reopening.
Pierce's lively stroll through the zoo might just be the cure we needed for these boredom blues.