Pretoria - Eight weeks after being trapped in a stormwater drain, a porcupine has found its way back into the wild – with the help of Wildlife in Crisis.

The porcupine had been trapped in an estate in Pretoria East that was in its second phase of development. Residents spotted the creature and asked the wildlife rehabilitation centre to rescue it.

“He was trapped in a pipe in the stormwater drain and was unable to get out because they had built a wall which trapped him,” said Wildlife in Crisis spokesperson Vanessa Davids.

“The first step we had to take was to analyse the stormwater drain and the exits so that we could come up with a strategy.”

They then began feeding the porcupine from one of the exits, training him to go to that spot, which would assist with the rescue.

The rescuers placed a revolving door at that exit and then closed it after two days.

This prevented the trapped animal from going back into the pipe.

The team used a plastic crate to safely extract the porcupine from the stormwater drain.

The entire process took eight weeks to complete, but Davis said the residents had unknowingly delayed the entire process.

“While we were feeding him from one end, the residents continued feeding him at a different exit, which caused confusion and delayed the process.

"We had to tell all the residents to leave him alone because we were working on it.”

After being rescued, the porcupine was taken to a vet for a check-up. He was dewormed, given an anti-pesticide and found to be underweight.

“We kept him for a few days to feed him and make sure he was fine,” Davids said.

He was then released into the wild at Ezemvelo Nature Reserve in Bronkhorstspruit.

Davids said there was a good number of porcupines it could join at the facility.

Her advice to people who found a trapped animal was to leave it alone and call any certified wildlife rehabilitation centre to rescue it.