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Cape porcupine

Hystrix africaeaustralis


Contrary to popular belief, a porcupine does not shoot out its quills, but when a porcupine is alarmed, it makes its quills stick out and rattles its tail. The quills on the tail make a loud noise when shaken. It will also run sideways or backwards to try to pierce an attacker with the sharp quills which can inflict painful wounds.

Their body length can be up to 90 centimetres and can weigh up to 15 kilograms.

Our group of cape porcupines came from a European zoo that was closing.

  Fun fact Baby porcupines are called porcupettes.

Animal class

Mammal

Conservation status

Not in danger of extinction. However, the species is under threat from habitat destruction, hunting and being persecuted as pests.

Habitat

Savanna, grassland, shrubland – found in sub-Saharan Africa.

Population

Wild Cape porcupine numbers are currently stable.

Diet

Omnivore – eats mainly roots, tubers and bulbs but also eats fruit, bark and will gnaw on bones and carrion.