Ernie the porcupine turns 6, melts hearts

Porcupines have birthdays, too.

Last week, Ernie, a North American porcupine, turned 6.

Zoo staff celebrated the milestone by giving the prickly cutie his very own birthday hat.

Redditor karaleecupcake posted a photo of Ernie dressed in his birthday garb on imgur. In two days since, the picture has been viewed more than 700,000 times.

(Image from imgur)

"They have birthday parties for animals at the zoo? That is SO CUTE!" wrote youmaycallmeeden.

"I'd give him a hug, but he's so prickly about that sorta thing," FrictionShliction wrote on imgur.

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Karaleecupcake's mom works at Ernie's zoo. She explained to curious Redditors why Ernie looks more huggable than prickly.

"Porcupines have three kinds of hairs including underfur, guard hairs, and quills. What you see on Ernie are guard hairs and they are soft," she wrote.

"He has quills, but because of his guard hairs you can't easily see them," she added.

According to Canadian Geographic, North American porcupines typically live 10 years or longer in the wild, so Ernie is sure to be adorable at a few more birthday parties.

Ernie is the second porcupine to find online fame in recent months.

Kemosabe, a prehensile-tailed porcupine, got famous for eating a banana in his tree fort at Animal Wonders in Montana: