It is rare for any wild animal to let a human get close to it, let alone touch it.

However, when a young raven was attacked by a porcupine, the bird seemed to understand the only way he would survive was if he let a human intervene.

Gertie Cleary says she spotted the young raven perched on a fence and when she noticed the quills stuck to its face, she knew she had to help.

“I was face to face with this raven,” says the Elmsdale, N.S. resident.

The bird, clearly in pain, waited for Cleary to get each one of the quills out. Cleary says she didn’t think twice about helping the animal in distress.

“It reminded me of a child with a splinter and when you pull a splinter out, they holler and screech and pull their hand away,” says Cleary.

Once the quills were out, Cleary carried the bird to her daughter’s house, where she fed him dog food and water.

“Then, the next day, Collen said he was at her doorstep, perched on her doorstep,” says Cleary.

The bird stayed around for a time, before eventually flying off.

Hope Swinimer, the founder and director of Hope for Wildlife, says short of calling a wildlife society, Cleary did everything right in this situation.

“It is important that people take interest in the natural world around them,” says Swinimer. “When they see an animal in distress, they should do something about it.”

Swinimer says the bird that landed on Cleary’s property was a young raven fledgling and that if she hadn’t helped the animal, it probably wouldn’t have survived.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Alyse Hand