Prickly Porcupette Debuts at ZSL London Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: September 19, 2021 2:00 am

Porcupine ZSL London Zoo

Herbie the porcupette explores his habitat at ZSL London Zoo

Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo have introduced a prickly new resident with cape porcupines Hettie and Henning welcoming a baby nicknamed Herbie by keepers.

Born on Monday August 2nd 2021 the baby cape porcupine has spent the past six weeks settling in to life in the family’s cozy indoor den. At night it has been exploring outside under the watchful eye of parents.

Porcupine ZSL London Zoo

Herbie the porcupette enjoys a snack of sweet corn at ZSL London Zoo

Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo

Keepers have been able to watch the new family scampering around outside on a CCTV camera set up in the habitat.

Zookeeper Veronica Heldt said: “We’ve kept a watchful eye on the family via CCTV since its birth and have been pleased to see Herbie zooming around outside.  

 

“As the little one grows in confidence, visitors – particularly those staying overnight at the ZSL London Zoo Lodges – will be able to spot Herbie following Hettie and Henning around their paddock, learning porcupine skills such as foraging for food.”

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Keepers are yet to determine the gender of the porcupette. This will require them to take a quill from the youngster at its first health check to send off for a DNA test.

Cape porcupines are a native species of central and southern Africa. They are the largest species of porcupine. At birth their quills are soft but will quickly harden to help protect them from predators.

Porcupine ZSL London Zoo

Herbie the porcupette enjoys a snack under the watchful eye of parents Hettie and Henning

Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo

Learn more about Cape Porcupines here – Cape Porcupine Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about ZSL London Zoo on their website – ZSL London Zoo

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