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Porcupine Gives Birth at ZSL London Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: February 1, 2023 6:30 pm

ZSL London Zoo, the UKs conservation zoo, have introduced a pair of porcupettes born at the zoo recently. Mother Hettie and father Henning welcomed the latest arrivals to their family on Saturday January 14.

In keeping with the zoo's tradition they have kept the K names going in the family dubbing the two new arrivals, one male and one female, Hector and Hinata. Zookeeper Veronica Heldt said “We’ve named the precious pair Hector and Hinata; all the porcupines in the family have names starting with the letter ‘H’ so Hector and Hinata join parents Hettie and Henning, nine-month-old Hershey and five-month-old Henry.” 

Veronica found the new arrivals while checking the zoos porcupine cam and they have since been developing well as she explained, ''Our new arrivals are developing really well. Although they’re only two weeks old, the nocturnal little ones are already confidently exploring their surroundings and bonding well with their new family.''

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Recently the pair had their first visit from ZSL London Zoo vets who gave them a clean bill of health At present they weigh a healthy 660g and 750g each but as they grow they will reach a weight of 15kg.

Porcupines are known for their sharp quills which may have some feeling incredibly sorry for mother Hettie but their is no cause for concern as Veronica explained, “Thankfully for mum Hettie, baby porcupines are born with short, soft quills that harden at about one week of age, so labour wasn’t as painful as people might imagine!” 

Cape porcupines are the largest porcupine species and the second largest rodent in Africa. They are increasingly threatened by habitat loss and hunting.

Our Favourite Porcupine Fact

The name porcupine is roughly translated in to English as the ''quill pig.''

Image: ZSL London Zoo

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