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Baby porcupine makes prickly debut at ZSL London Zoo

Keepers have shared the first images and video of an adorable baby porcupine, known as a porcupette, born at ZSL London Zoo last month.

The baby cape porcupine, who arrived on August 2nd, has spent the past six weeks settling into the family’s cosy indoor dens, only emerging at night, accompanied by its protective parents, Hettie and Henning.

Cape porcupines are the largest porcupine species and are native to central and southern Africa. Baby porcupines are born with a full set of soft quills and weigh less than a pound, although their quills quickly harden to protect them from predators.


Herbie the porcupette enjoys sweetcorn at ZSL London Zoo


Footage from CCTV, set up to monitor the first-time family, shows the nocturnal youngster – nicknamed Herbie by zookeepers – scampering around as it explores after dark.

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.”

Keepers will find out if Herbie is a boy or a girl when one of its quills is sent for DNA testing following a first health check. 



To find out more about visiting ZSL London Zoo go to 

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