London Zoo reveals first picture of adorable new baby porcupines

Baby porcupines born at London Zoo
Keepers at London Zoo have shared the first images of two new-born porcupines Credit: ZSL London Zoo

Keepers at London Zoo have shared the first images of two new-born porcupines.

The porcupettes were born on Saturday 14 January to parents Hettie and Henning.

Zookeeper Veronica Heldt discovered the newborns after monitoring the zoo’s porcupine-cam and said: “Our new arrivals are developing really well.

“Although they’re only two weeks old, the nocturnal little ones are already confidently exploring their surroundings and bonding well with their new family.

“We’ve named the precious pair Hector and Hinata; all the porcupines in the family have names starting with the letter ‘H’ so Hector and Hinata join parents Hettie and Henning, nine-month-old Hershey and five-month-old Henry”, she added.

“Thankfully for mum Hettie, baby porcupines are born with short, soft quills that harden at about one week of age, so labour wasn’t as painful as people might imagine!”

The procupettes have spent their first week snuggling up with their mum in their cosy indoor den Credit: ZSL London Zoo

The porcupettes have already had their first health check from the zoo’s vet team and currently weigh a healthy 660g and 750g each.

Adult Cape porcupines can reach 15kg, with quills measuring up to 45cm – the same length as a rounders bat.

Cape porcupines are nocturnal rodents, native to central and southern Africa.

They are the largest of all the porcupine species and Africa’s second-largest rodent.

As expert foragers and diggers, Cape porcupines are considered "ecosystem engineers", however, increasingly they face threats of habitat destruction and hunting.

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