Precious Porcupette Being Raised at Brookfield Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: March 31, 2022 10:08 am

Porcupette Brookfield Zoo

A porcupette (baby porcupine) was born at Brookfield Zoo on March 19.

Photo Credit: Jim Schulz/ Brookfield Zoo

Keepers at Brookfield Zoo are caring for a baby prehensile-tailed porcupine born on March 19th 2022 after its mother failed to provide care.

Mother Lucia is 9 years old and is a member of the Brookfield Zoo’s Animal Ambassador Program and can be seen in Hamill Family Play Zoo. Father, 8-year-old Eddie, is also part of this program.

Despite Lucia not caring for her porcupette it has been thriving under the care of specialists from the Brookfield Zoo. It is being fed a formula developed by CZS’s director of nutrition. The time between feedings is gradually being increased as the porcupette heads towards weaning at 10 weeks old.

Once it is weaned it will have a diet consisting of a variety of vegetables, including sweet potato, green beans, corn, carrots, spinach, and kale, as well as a nutrient-based biscuit, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.

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Porcupines are best known for their sharp spikes which could make the birth process a little uncomfortable. Luckily at birth these are soft and bendable and harden as they age.

Young porcupines are hidden by their mother in the forest and she returns periodically to feed it.

Prehensile tailed porcupines are native to the forests of South America. Here they use their long tail to hold on to branches as they climb through the forest. Their name is a reference to to the tails ability to hold on to these branches.

When excited or alarmed they can stand their quills up. If they shake some of the quills can come loose and fall out.

Once the porcupette has grown up it will become part of the zoo's animal ambassador program like its parents.

Learn more about the Brookfield Zoo on their website – Brookfield Zoo

Porcupette Brookfield Zoo

Maggie Chardell, a lead animal care specialist for the Chicago Zoological Society, with a porcupette (baby porcupine). Staff is hand-rearing the porcupette, who was born at Brookfield Zoo on March 19, because its mom was not providing proper maternal care.

Photo Credit: Jim Schulz/ Brookfield Zoo

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