Sunday, March 3, 2013
Staff at a north Suffolk wildlife park have had a prickly but pleasant surprise after a porcupine gave birth to a cute looking baby.
Named Blackberry by keepers at Africa Alive at Kessingland, near Lowestoft, the African crested porcupine was born on February 15 weighing 10oz.
Her mother Thistle was seven weeks into a eight week pregnancy when Blackberry was born.
Blackberry was born with her eyes open and with soft, short quills and can now be seen in the porcupine enclosure with mother, father, Bristle and six month old sister Bramble.
Blackberry’s’ parents Thistle and Bristle arrived at the park early in 2012.
The African crested porcupine is the largest and heaviest of Africa’s rodents and is most commonly found in hilly, rocky country, but they are very adaptable and will live in most types of habitat,
They have even been found on Mount Kilimanjaro, as high up as 11,480 feet.
If a predator, such as African rock pythons, leopards, lions and cheetahs, targets the rodents they will erect their quills and run backwards or sideways, driving the quills into its attacker.
A spokesman for Africa Alive said: “Blackberry is doing very well and can be seen with mum, dad and big sister Bramble in their enclosure next to the aardvarks and meerkats.”