Stone Zoo

Stone Zoo Welcomes Baby Porcupine as Its Newest Resident

Experts at the Stoneham zoo believe the baby to be male and report it is "healthy and alert" after a medical exam performed Monday

Zoo New England

The newest addition to Stone Zoo may just be the cutest one yet.

A baby porcupine was recently welcomed to the zoo in Stoneham, Mass., Zoo New England announced Wednesday. Born on June 25 to mom Prickles and dad Shadow, the baby, called a porcupette, weighed just over one pound at birth, and is reported to be adjusting well to its new environment.

“Prickles and her new baby are doing great,” said Pete Costello, the Assistant Curator at Stone Zoo. “The baby is gaining weight at a healthy pace and adapting well. The staff weigh the porcupette every morning, despite the challenge of getting the little ball of quills on the scale!”

Per standard procedure, an animal management team and veterinary staff are monitoring Prickles and her little one closely. Experts at the zoo believe the baby to be male and report it is "healthy and alert" after a medical exam performed Monday.

Shadow, the baby's father, is an ambassador animal at Stone Zoo trained to interact with people and encourage positive experiences with wildlife. The purpose of ambassador animals is to inspire people to protect nature, the Stone Zoo staff said in a news release.

The baby is classified as a prehensile-tailed porcupette, a kind of porcupine with hair that is initially reddish-brown and soft quills that harden with time. According to experts, the porcupettes are independent and nocturnal. Found in South American forests, they have powerful tails that can cling onto branches as they swing through trees.

The animals are mobile almost immediately after birth, so visitors may be able to spot this porcupette hanging on a tree in its exhibit in the Windows to the Wild habitat in the coming days.

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