The Brookfield Zoo has welcomed a baby porcupine. The zoo is managed by the Chicago Zoological Society. Actually, baby porcupines are referred to as porcupettes. The infant was born on 19th March 2022. Moreover, Lucia and Eddy are the baby’s mother and father respectively. However, the zoo staff is rearing the baby porcupine by hand. This is because its mother is unable to care for it.
As with many baby animals, the gender has not been determined. Moreover, the porcupette is unnamed. Hopefully, the animal will be named after its gender is determined. Currently, it is too young. The gender is usually revealed after the first examination or so. However, this depends on the findings of the vet team.
According to Zooborns, the porcupette is being fed a special formula to meet its nutrition requirements. This formula was developed by the Chicago Zoological Society’s director of nutrition. During the porcupette’s growth, the feeding will gradually increase. However, the diet will be reduced once it reaches the age of 10 weeks. After that, the porcupette will move onto a vegetable diet.
At birth, porcupettes do not have any spikes compared to their adult counterparts. This makes it possible for the mother to give them birth. However, the ‘spikes’ tend to form just after a few days. In fact, they are actually hardened strands of hair. Eventually, keratin causes their hair to harden, giving them a spiky appearance. These ‘spikes’ stand up when the animal is alarmed or excited. Thus, this switches on the animal’s defense mechanism.
Prehensile-tailed porcupines are common throughout South America. Therefore, they can be found in Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil. However, these are only a few of these places where they are found. Female porcupines have a selected range. On the other hand, males have overlapping territories. Moreover, male porcupines can vary in size as well. We wish the Brookfield Zoo the very best of luck in raising the porcupine.