Porcupines like to dig! These brilliant burrowers can create elaborate underground worlds, which keep them safe during winter.

Native to Mediterranean Europe and North Africa, African crested porcupines are monogamous, so tend to live in small family groups with their mate. Born with soft spines, young porcupettes emerge from their dens at around a week old when their spines begin to harden.

The spiky creatures are Africa’s largest rodent. They are threatened by illegal hunting for their meat in both Europe and Africa. These beautiful animals are also considered a pest in some areas.

Our pair Roxie and Henning can be found in the zoo in the meerkat habitat.

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Interesting facts

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Where they live: Mediterranean Europe and North Africa

Habitat: Caves, small crevices in rocks or holes and borrows.

Size: total length of upto 90cm

Weight: up to 30kg

Threats: Threatened by habitat loss, agriculture and hunting

Scientific Name: Hystrix cristata