Who knew that baby porcupines would be so adorable? London Zoo has just welcomed two new arrivals, and their big ears and bewildered little faces will melt your ice-cold heart. Baby porcupines are known as porcupettes (stash that info in your brain, it could win you a pub quiz some day!) And thankfully for their longsuffering mother, they’re born with soft spines that harden up when they’re a week old.
Zookeeper Veronica Heldt spotted the pair while monitoring the zoo’s porcupine cam, which allows these spiky creatures to explore their habitat undisturbed. She says: ‛Our new arrivals are developing really well. Although they’re only two weeks old, the nocturnal little
ones are already confidently exploring their surroundings and bonding well with their new family.’
She’s named the pair Hector and Hinata, to alliterate with their proud parents Hettie and Henning. Currently, the newborns are fully healthy and weigh 660g and 750g each: a fully grown porcupine weighs around 15kg. The family are Cape porcupines, the world’s biggest species, originating in South Africa. They’re known for supporting healthy ecosystems by digging into the soil as they forage, encouraging new plants to grow. But unfortunately, they’re under threat from habitat destruction and from hunters, who sell their quills to tourists. So the birth of some wet-around-the-ears new porcupines is definitely cause for celebration: time to knit the new arrivals some booties and pay your respects at London Zoo, stat.
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