Zoo Boise Welcomes New Porcupette


Zoo Boise is happy to announce the birth of a North American porcupine.  The male baby, called a porcupette, was born on April 8 to parents, Zeus and Athena.  The baby which is currently unnamed can now be seen on exhibit at the zoo.  This is the second North American porcupine born at Zoo Boise.  Olympus (Oly) was born on July 27, 2012.

Athena continues to be a great mother and the baby is doing well.  Being very arboreal, she will spend most of her day sleeping in the trees, while the baby is on the ground, but will come down to care for the baby and to sleep near him at night.  Within a few weeks, the baby will begin to eat vegetation and will learn to climb trees with her.

Porcupettes are born with soft quills, which harden within 30 minutes after birth.  Contrary to popular belief, porcupines do no shoot or throw their quills as a defense.  When attacked, a porcupine will tuck its head between its front paws and turn so their quills face the attacker. The hollow air-filled quills fall out of the porcupine’s skin easily.  One North American porcupine can have as many as 30,000 quills.  The North American porcupines can be found next to the penguin exhibit at Zoo Boise.

Zoo Boise invites the community to Keep Your World Wild; the zoo turns the act of visiting the zoo into a conservation action. Zoo Boise is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a national organization that supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education and science.

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