Porcupines are HERBIVORES and eat a large variety of plants, shoots and leaves.
They live in caves and small crevices in rocks or holes and borrows in Mediterranean Europe and North Africa
The word porcupine is a derivative of the Middle French word 'porc d’espine', meaning 'thorny pig'.
Young porcupines are known as PORCUPETTES
These prickly mammals are Africa’s largest rodent and are covered in thousands of quills.
Quills made from keratin cover their backs, sides and tails and contain antibiotic properties which stop the risk of any infections if they jab themselves. The quills are hollow so that the porcupine can make a rattling sound to warn off predators!
Porcupines are nocturnal and will shelter in caves or burrows during the day.They 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.
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.
Find out more about our WONDERFUL zoo and all of the incredible animals, plants and FUN things to do here. Download our app or PDF map to help plan you day and find your way around when you get here.