This prehensile-tailed porcupine is the first of its kind born at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo

By Kelli Bender
July 11, 2018 02:44 PM
Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

Hi! Hello! We are here with some important news. Did you know that baby porcupines are also called porcupettes?

Well, now you do and your life is better for it.

Even better still, a new porcupette recently joined the ranks of the world. The baby porcupine was born at The Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo to mother Lucia, 5, and father Eddie, 4.

Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

The not-so-spiky bundle of cute arrived on July 2. The prehensile-tailed porcupine is the first of its kind born at the zoo.

While the zoo is excited about caring for the newborn, Lucia was a little less interested. After monitoring the mother-baby pair for a period of time after the porcupette’s birth, it became clear to the zoo that Lucia was not going to allow the baby to nurse from her.

Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

To replace the mom’s maternal instincts, the zoo stepped in and started caring for and bottle-feeding the baby porcupine. According to the zoo, the baby is thriving under this hands-on care, and growing up fast.

Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

Porcupettes are born with soft quills that start to harden and sharpen over a few days. In these first few days of life, baby porcupines also start to walk and become mobile quickly. Their brown coats allows them to stay hidden in the wild until the get older. After 10 weeks, wild baby porcupines are often weaned from their mothers so they can start exploring the world and learning to live on their own.

Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

Can’t get enough of cats, dogs and other furry friends? Click here to get the cutest pet news and photos delivered directly to your inbox.

Prehensile-tailed porcupines, like this newborn, are native to South American rainforests. They use their tails to help them climb trees. The porcupette born to Brookfield Zoo will stay in Illinois and become an animal ambassador for the zoo, just like her parents.