PORT CLINTON, Ohio, September 2, 2022 — African Safari Wildlife Park’s newest resident is looking sharp. On August 24, crested porcupine Javelyn gave birth to a male pup, or “porcupette,” named Buckeye. This brings the total number of porcupines at the Park to eight individuals, though Javelyn and her youngster will stay behind the scenes for at least a few weeks.
Crested porcupines are born with soft quills that begin to harden around one week of age. A single adult crested porcupine may have more than 30,000 quills, which are modified hairs. Contrary to popular belief, porcupines cannot “launch” their quills at would-be predators; instead, porcupines back into their assailants and “stab” the quills under the skin.
These rodents are native to North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Italy. They are herbivores and may consume crops such as carrots and potatoes, which puts them in conflict with farmers throughout their range.