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PORCUPINE

AJ, is an African Crested Porcupine.  This handsome guy was born here at Animal Tracks.  He loves to come out of his enclosure and go for long, leisurely strolls around the compound in search of leftover treats other animals may have left behind! If you get too close, you can hear him rattle his quills. He has quite a personality too. When he wants you to know he means business, he stamps his foot. His favorite treats are corn on the cob and walnuts. A really interesting fun fact about the 3 rd largest rodent in the world is that they are quite fearless, and will go up against a pride of lions, and usually walk away completely unscathed!

ORDER: RODENTIA
FAMILY: HYSTRICIDAE
GENUS: HYSTRIX
SPECIES: CRISTATA

 

Most active during nighttime hours, (nocturnal). They eat plant matter (herbivore) and wood, making them lignivores. They are known to eat bones for the calcium and to keep their incisors sharp. They are natural architects creating complex burrow systems for their families. Their quills are not barbed like other porcupines, and they cannot shoot their quills. They must make contact with their opponent. They are social and monogamous. They reproduce in November to December, are pregnant 112 days, normally producing 1 to 2 babies at a time. The babies quills start to harden within hours of birth and the babies can run almost immediately to escape predators, (precocial). They sexually mature at 2 to 3 years of age.

Threats

 

Farmers poison them as they are attracted to crops. They are hunted for their meat and quills and in Morocco they are killed in large numbers and used in “traditional medicine” and witchcraft.

Conservation Status

 

LC - Least Concern

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