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Our Prickly Porcupine

Introducing our prickliest pair of residents, 2 Cape Porcupine. Mum Alika (aged 4) and her daughter Arewa (aged 2) are Cape Porcupine and are one of the largest rodents in the world with some weighing up to almost 30kg.

Porcupine can be feisty creatures. They are covered in hollow quills which they use to create a rattle sound to warn away predators and when feeling highly threatened, they can even attempt to use their quills on their attacker. Alika is the more confident out of the two and will stomp around with her quills slightly raised.

Porcupine are nocturnal and tend to do a lot of their foraging and eating overnight. However we will be continuing morning training with Alika and Arewa to incorporate into our daily animal encounters.

cape porcupine 2

Did you know…

  • A group/family of porcupine is called a prickle
  • Many people think Porcupine shoot their quills out at enemies however, this is not true. Instead they loosely pierce their enemies’ skin with their quills which can sometimes result in fatal wounds
  • Porcupine quills shed easily on contact and like hair, they begin to grow back within a few days of falling out
  • As they are rodents, porcupine need access to large logs daily as they use the removal of bark to keep their teeth down
  • Although their eyesight is not very good, porcupine have a great sense of smell & hearing
  • Porcupine are omnivores meaning they eat both animals and plants

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