Porcupine & Skunk Encounter 2

Cape Crested Porcupine

Scientific name: Hystrix africaeaustralis


The cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world. They are so-called because their quills can be raised into a ‘crest’ on their back. Porcupines have short bodies and are mostly dark brown and black in colour.

Porcupines’ quills are about 35cm long and very sharp; if under attack, porcupines will raise the quills on their back to intimidate their attacker. They may also stamp their feet and move their quills to produce a rattling sound. As a last resort, they will charge at a predator and attempt to stab it with their quills. The deep wounds inflicted from these attacks can prove fatal.

Porcupines are monogamous. The females have one litter per year and usually birth between 1-3 offspring (porcupettes). Porcupettes usually begin roaming from the nest once they are about a week old; at this young age their spines begin to harden too.

Least Concern (Inc. Bar)
  1. At Noah's Ark...

    We have 2 Crested Porcupines... Porky and Percy.

  2. We live...

    Across the path from the Nile Crocodile enclosure and next to the Siamang Gibbon enclosure.

  1. Size Fact

    Porcupines can weigh up to 30kg.

  2. Food Fact

    The crested porcupine has a mostly herbivorous diet but occasionally supplements its diet with carrion (the flesh of dead animals) and small vertebrates.

  3. Fun Fact

    The word porcupine is derived from Old French ‘porc-espin’, meaning ‘spiny pig’!

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