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MLA Full: "Kemosabe Q & A - So Much Kemosabe!" YouTube, uploaded by Animal Wonders Montana, 13 May 2016,
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Chicago Full: Animal Wonders Montana, "Kemosabe Q & A - So Much Kemosabe!", May 13, 2016, YouTube, 08:05,
Jessi asked for questions people had about Kemosabe and we had so many responses. Here are as many questions as Jessi and Kemo could answer in one session! Thank you for all the asks!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

Hi guys.  We're here at Animal Wonders and I am super excited about today's episode because it's all about Kemosabe.  If you haven't met him before, you're in for an awesome time and if you already know him, you know you're in for an awesome time.  On July 23, 2013, Kemosabe was introduced to the internet in our most popular video on our channel by far.  Since then, questions have been pouring in about our banana-loving porcupine, so I thought it'd be fun to do an episode answering a bunch of your questions about Kemosabe.


Alright, now that we have Kemosabe out, let's answer a couple of questions.  First one comes from Chris, @Clemmons5505.  He asks: "How did Kemosabe end up at Animal Wonders?"
Well, in 2010, a friend of mine that worked at a zoo in Nevada asked if the--asked if we wanted to take a porcupine that they no longer could house at their zoo.  At first, we said no for a lot of different reasons, but she kept asking and kept asking and eventually convinced us to give him a try.  So on March 8, 2010, Kemosabe arrived at Animal Wonders and made himself at home in his tree fort.  

Bobby Buck asks, "Is Kemosabe a boy or a girl?"
That's actually a good question.  He's a boy, but it's not all that easy to tell on these guys.  The reason the zoo that previously owned him was looking for a new home for him was because they originally thought he was a girl.  His name was Penny, and they were hoping to have babies.  

Leah from Ontario asks, "How old is Kemosabe?"
We were told Kemosabe was two years old when we took him in, which would make him eight years old now, and they live usually between 12 and 15 years.

Calebmerritt asks, "Could Kemosabe socialize with other animals despite his quills?"
In the wild, prehensile type porcupines are going to be solitary, meaning they don't really socialize with others unless they're coming together to mate or a mom taking care of her young, so if they are socializing amicably, then they're going to pull their quills tight against their body to avoid poking others. 

Alright, next question comes from Jim, @JimPlaysGames, and he asks, "Does Kemosabe interact with other animals at Animal Wonders?  

 (02:00) to (04:00)

Is he friendly with them?  Has he met another of his species?"
Kemosabe was housed with a younger male prehensile tail porcupine at the zoo that he previously was housed at and the two got along fine.  Since coming to Animal Wonders, he has socialized and tolerates other species as well.  We've allowed him to meet Chili Pepper the Cavy and Sydney the Batong under close supervision.  Chili Pepper and Sydney are both intensely curious about other animals and things and Kemosabe, he was slightly interested and he did touch noses with them and then quickly became uninterested and went about his own business.

J at @J_Northcoast asks, "Do porcupines ever stick themselves with their own quills?"
Yes, they actually do, but it doesn't happen very often because they have really thick skin on their feet and hands, but if they move too quickly or awkwardly or they have an itch, they can accidentally get a quill stuck in their arm or leg.  Kemosabe will sometimes have a quill stuck in his wrist when I come to see him and I usually assume that he was itching and just wasn't careful enough because it's not in there very far.  He can remove them himself by rubbing it off with his hand or I can remove it by gently pulling on it.

Snappyjdog asks, "Do porcupines use their quills for defense against other porcupines?  What about mating?"
Yes, they do use their quills against other porcupines.  If they get in a dispute about territory or mating, then they will try and poke each other with their quills, and yes, they sometimes get poked back.  Mating is a careful procedure for porcupines.  The thing is, they can control the direction of their quills, so if they're relaxed, then all their quills will lay in the same direction, kinda like the hair on a dog or a cat.  When they are disturbed, they'll flex muscles on their back and sides and their quills will stand upright or criss-cross in all directions, so close interaction with others is easier when all their quills are laying flat.

LCDrDerrick asks, "He seems to be a nervous and anxious guy.  His quills are erect most of the time as opposed to his other YouTube cousins and those in zoos."
Nice job.  You're looking at and reading his behavior quite well.  In most videos, Kemosabe is communicating that he is disturbed or on guard and there are some other internet famous porcupines whose quills don't look the same as Kemo's. 

 (04:00) to (06:00)

There are a few things to look at and consider when comparing Kemosabe to others.  First, he's a coendou, or Brazilian prehensile tailed porcupine and he doesn't have any fur in between his quills that might hide the upright position of them.  Second, instead of raising the quills on the lower half of his back and tail like a North American porcupine or an African crested porcupine, he raises the quills on the top of his head and back to communicate.  This makes it really obvious when he's on guard, and third, he wasn't hand-raised like a lot of the porcupines that you see online or in zoos where keepers interact with them daily from birth.  Like many of our rescued animals at Animal Wonders, Kemosabe came to us as an adult and we worked for years to build a strong enough trust bond that we can care for all of his needs, but, as you can see, he's not completely relaxed about the whole situation and also, in these videos, there's a huge tripod which he's rocking right towards right now.  Kemosabe decided to come back to his stump and munch on this banana some more, so let's keep answering some questions.

Becca Lynn asks, "How do you transport Kemo short distances, like from enclosure to where you're filming?  You can't really pick him up or strap a harness and leash on him, so what do you do?"  
You're right.  We can't touch him.  He doesn't like to be touched.  We were actually told that he could be touched, like, you put your hand under his belly and hold his tail, but he quickly let us know that he was not gonna have any of that, so we listened to him and we found a different way to do it.  We trained him to walk into a crate and once he's in the crate, we can move him anywhere he needs to go.

Steven Nguyen asks, "Does Kemosabe express difficulty eating food upon his next meal as he hasn't yet established that his teeth have been suddenly shortened?"
For those of you that don't know, Kemosabe has been having issues with his teeth from the time he came to Animal Wonders.  You can watch a bunch of videos all about the subject here and the links are in the description below.  Basically, Kemosabe needs regular teeth trims to make sure that his teeth don't overgrow, so Steven, the answer is yes.  After a teeth trim, he kind of has to get used to his teeth again and so what he'll end up doing is sucking on his piece of food until it gets all mushy.  

 (06:00) to (08:00)

It's pretty ridiculous, but apparently effective.

Mx.Nyela.J @Nyelarebirth asks, "What are Kemo's favorite toys?"
Kemosabe really likes anything that he can maneuver with his hands or climb in or on, so he really likes wicker balls and baskets and ropes or just branches to climb on.  

Trisha Martin asks, "Can you differentiate between all of the noises that Kemosabe makes, such as for happy or sad, etc?"
Kemosabe makes a lot of vocalizations, but I can group them into several types of communications.  When he's surprised, he's gonna make a sharp high pitched (noise).  When he's angry, he usually makes louder grunts and it's usually paired with some sort of body movement.  When he's grumpy or tired, he'll usually make slower, lower grunts.  When he's begging for treats, he'll usually make a longer, more high-pitched nyaaa, and when he's content, say, when he receives a banana, he'll make a noise that sounds like thanks, and when he's happy with his treat but he wants to make sure that you know it's his treat and not yours, he'll make this grumbling num num num num num.

And lastly, Roni @Konchoo asks, "Can you tell us something funny that he does?"
Early in our relationship, I was training Kemosabe and I taught him how to pull a basket up hanging from a string, so he actually pulls it up often and he uses it to beg for treats, so he pulls it up when he wants more bananas and sometimes I'll be cleaning and I won't be paying attention and he'll pull it up and then drop it right on my head.  He also likes to stand on the beams right over me as I clean and poop on my head, but it's okay because it actually just bounces right off. 

Thanks for asking all of your questions.  I love being able to share Kemosabe with all of you.  If you guys have any more questions about Kemo, then go ahead and leave it in the comments below and I'll try and answer as many as I can.  I hope you enjoyed learning more about Kemosabe today.  If you'd like to go on an adventure with us every week, subscribe to our YouTube channel AnimalWondersMontana and we'll see you next week.


Meet Gizmo and Gadget, the sugar gliders.  About a year ago, we introduced you to our new sugar glider and we asked for your help naming him. 

 (08:00) to (08:05)