The recently renovated Children’s Zoo at the Wildlife Conservation Societies (WCS’s) Bronx Zoo has a new resident in the form of a North American Porcupine.
Born on July 28 the young porcupine has been determined as a male. It is the third child for the zoo’s porcupine pair Alice and Patrick.
The young porcupine is growing on a healthy diet of mum’s milk and foods such as leaves and twis which it first sampled at three weeks old.
Porcupines are known for their spiky quills. When the emerge these are actually soft to make the birth easier on mum. They harden from a few hours of birth onwards until the porcupette is fully grown.
They may have up to 30,000 quills covering their body. If a predator attempts to grab the porcupinea tiny bard on the end hooks into the skin and is embedded into the predator. Contrary to popular belief they cannot actually shoot their quills at people.
Visitors to the zoo can see the little guy and his family now but they might be napping since this species is primarily nocturnal.
Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/ Bronx Zoo