Two baby Porcupines have had their first ever health check-ups at Chester Zoo. The African Crested Porcupines, named Stempu and Noko, were born on September 1 and 4 respectively, to mom Roxie and dad Nungu.
Keepers gave the duo a physical examination, inserted microchips and took their weights during the routine checks. Keeper Chris Grindle, seen here, said, “We're very pleased to say that both of our spiky new arrivals are in great shape. Noko tipped the scales at 865g (1.9 pounds) while Stempu was a little heavier at 1075g (2.4 pounds). Both look to be very healthy indeed and so we are extremely pleased with them – as are our visitors judging by their reactions when they see them.”
Read more after the jump:
Porcupine babies, called porcupettes, are born without sharp quills. Instead their spikes are soft and bendable, but they gradually harden after a few days. Quills are used to protect them against predators such as coyotes, bears, dogs, foxes and even humans. Any they lose in the process, grow back!
Poprcupines are herbivores, feeding mostly on leaves, twigs, herbs, pine needles and thin tree bark, which they remove with their sharp, strong teeth.