It's not every day a community mourns the death of a porcupine, but Della was different.
The Norman Transcript reported that Della the Porcupine died last week at the Little River Zoo, which is located south of Norman off Highway 9. The 8-year-old critter, described as a popular attraction at the zoo, died peacefully overnight.
Della's popularity apparently had no bounds. Besides being one of the main attractions at the zoo and appearing in hundreds of school and church programs, Della was quite famous in the animal world.
The porcupine met twice with Boyd Matson of National Geographic and joined Jack Hanna for an onstage appearance in Oklahoma City, the Transcript reported.
"She was an important part of the zoo's educational programs, and led many parades and community events including Christmas, Mardi Gras, Easter Seals and Kids For Kindness Earth Day Festival," zoo co-founder and director Janet Sadler told the Transcript.
"Her gentle, friendly demeanor was a perfect fit for children's programs. Thousands of lives were touched by this magnificent animal."
Della's popularity was enough for the local newspaper to publish an obituary with all the dressings. Here is the text:
"Della was born Christmas Eve 2000 at the Little River Zoo to Lee and Mary. She is survived by Lee, Oya, Matilda, Bonzai and Leroy."
Donations in memory of Della may be sent to the Little River Zoo, 3405 S.E. 120th, Norman, OK 73026.
Not bad for a porcupine.