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Canadian porcupine at Kofu zoo gets relief from heat with frozen hot water bottle

Uni the Canadian porcupine rests on top of a frozen hot water bottle to escape from the heat at Yuki Zoo in Kofu, on Aug. 23, 2017. (Mainichi)

KOFU -- As temperatures rose in the Kanto region on Aug. 23, a Canadian porcupine named "Uni" at Yuki Zoo in has been seeking relief from the summer heat with a frozen hot water bottle.

As Canadian porcupines' usual habitat is the forested areas of North America, they are not used to the heat. Zookeepers had previously given Uni frozen plastic water bottles for heat relief, but they would become useless soon after being handed to the porcupine as he would chew on them. Last summer, a zookeeper hit on the idea of using a metal hot water bottle, which proved successful.

Except for when he's eating his favorite sweet potatoes and fruit, Uni can be seen slumping on top of the hot water bottle.

"I'm glad he likes it, but he barely moves," said a zookeeper -- raising speculation that the porcupine may become slightly portly this summer.

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