Image: © Zoos SA
The Animal Facts Editorial Team
March 29, 2023 2:45 pm
Monarto Safari Park have introduced their latest addition, a cape porcupine. The new arrival was born in late January to parents Oliver and Rita and has been named Louie.
At present keepers are unsure of the gender of the porcupette. This is difficult to determine visually and as such keepers will wait till the six month health check to determine this.
“Since the day Louie arrived they’ve been full of attitude, just like their mum,” said keeper Gemma Asser. “They stomp their feet and rattle their tail to make sure us keepers and Oliver know who’s boss.
“Louie also enjoys zoomies in the den with Mum and Dad needing to get out of the way but, not for too long… Louie is extremely attached to Dad and follows him everywhere.”
Louie has a favourite food which he shares with his parents as Gemma explained, “But while their personalities differ there is one thing that definitely bonds the family and that,” finished Gemma, “is their love of sweet potato!”
While you may think it was an uncomfortable labour for Rita porcupines are born with soft quills which harden during the first few days of life. While little now Louie will soon grow to be the world’s largest species of porcupine and the largest rodent to be found in Africa.
Guests visiting Monarto Safari Park are encouraged to rise early if they want to meet the porcupine family. Gemma said, “Because they have spent all night up and about, they can be quite elusive and asleep during the day. But, each morning myself and other keepers offer the prickle a scatter feed of their favourite things (including sweet potato) for breakfast, or a target training session, where Rita can show off how smart (and how bossy) she is!”
“So, the best time to see if Rita, Oliver and little Louie would be to come out for a morning stroll around 10ish when the first bus arrives at The Outpost,” said Gemma.”
The teeth of the cape porcupine grow continuously throughout their life. This keeps their teeth tough allowing them to tear through the fibrous material that forms much of their diet.
Image: © Zoos SA
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