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Prickly pair of porcupines settle in to new home at Longleat Safari Park

The pair, called Pumpkin and Squash, have travelled over from Europe. Credit: Longleat Safari Park

Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire has welcomed two new "Niffler" Porcupines.

The pair, called Pumpkin and Squash, have come from Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

Both female, their official name is prehensile-tailed porcupines but their similarity to the Niffler (a magical beast from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter) gave them their alternative nickname!

The pair have already been a big hit with visitors to the park. Credit: Longleat Safari Park

Head of Animal Adventure at Longleat said the pair were "super cute".

As soon as we saw them we knew Squash and Pumpkin were going to be a huge hit with both keepers and the public.

That, combined with the fact they’re super cute and look like one of the magical beasts from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, means they’re already a firm favourite with everyone who meets them.

– Graeme Dick, Head of Animal Adventure
Credit: Longleat Safari Park

Pumpkin and Squash are both less than a year old and have a love of all things shiny.

They're chatty too, to communicate with each other they make a funny baby-like sound.

With the arrival of a male expected in 2020, the hope is the porcupines will eventually form a breeding colony of their own.

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Longleat is one of only two collections in the UK to keep "Niffler" porcupines.

Although the species isn’t currently endangered there are concerns its numbers are reducing in the wild due to factors such as deforestation.