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Fantastic ‘Niffler’ porcupines arrive at Longleat

A pair of cute porcupines have been captivating keepers with their amusing antics since arriving at Longleat from separate collections recently.

The two female prehensile-tailed porcupines, named Pumpkin and Squash, are both less than a year old and look just like the niffler from ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’.

Both were bred in captivity and Longleat hopes that the arrival of a male in the New Year will encourage a breeding colony for the porcupines.

“As soon as we saw them we knew Squash and Pumpkin were going to be a huge hit with both keepers and the public,” said Longleat Head of Animal Adventure Graeme Dick.

“That, combined with the fact they’re super cute and look like one of the magical beasts from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, means they’re already a firm favourite with everyone who meets them.

“They’re both still pretty young but they can move surprisingly quickly when they need to and are extremely adept at climbing,” he added.

Originally from Central and South America, the porcupines get their name from their long, hairless tails which allow them to spend most of their time living in trees.

Longleat is one of only two collections in the UK to keep the species. For more information on visiting go to

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