A white-tailed porcupine has been born at Amersfoort Zoo. The baby can occasionally be seen outside. It is the second porcupette for this mother. The sex of the animal is not yet known. "We hope to get an answer to that soon," says animal caretaker Marc Belt. “We leave the young alone as much as possible. The mother is also very protective of the little one.”
The little porcupine keeps up well with the group and has already taken its first steps outside. “We have made a special staircase for this, so that he or she can easily walk out of the indoor accommodation,” Marc says. The other porcupines are also used to their new inhabitant. “They are often close to each other.”
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White-tailed porcupines are found in the wild in the Middle East and in Central and South Asia. Before mating, the female lays her tail over her spines and preens them. That way she can't hurt the male. Her young are born without sharp spikes. About an hour after birth, the spines harden. The longest spines of an adult porcupine can be up to forty centimeters long. “When the porcupine needs to defend itself, it turns around so that the sharp spines on its hind body can drive away or hurt the enemy. And they can shake it hard so that the tail feathers start to rattle. It sounds like a rattlesnake," says Marc. Visitors can admire the young in the City of Antiquity in Animal Park Amersfoort.