Binghamton Zoo welcomes baby prehensile-tailed porcupine

Binghamton Zoo welcomes baby prehensile-tailed porcupine

Binghamton Zoo welcomes baby prehensile-tailed porcupine The Binghamton Zoo is proud to announce the arrival of a prehensile-tailed porcupine, born on June 21, 2015.

Zoo officials have been monitoring the progress of the baby and parents, Zoey and Mattie. Weighing in at 430 grams, it has progressively gained weight since birth. The sex of the baby cannot yet be determined and the name will be announced at a later time.

The birth of this porcupine is a major success for the prehensile-tailed porcupine’s Species Survival Plan (SSP). Mattie came to the Binghamton Zoo in November 2014 under recommendations from the SSP as a breeding candidate for Zoey. Each SSP carefully manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining captive population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

Baby porcupines (also known as porcupettes) are not born with sharp or barbed quills. Instead, the porcupette’s quills are soft and bendable, gradually hardening in the first few days after birth. Their quills will reach maturity after 10 weeks. They are dependent on its mother for nutrition the first four weeks after birth, eventually foraging for other food sources and will then be completely weaned at 15 weeks.

Binghamton Zoo welcomes baby prehensile-tailed porcupineThese porcupines have a prehensile tail that allows them to grasp branches for balance. They also have long, curved claws that are excellent for climbing. They spend most of their time in trees and will den in tree nests, rock crevices, brush, logs, and tangled tree roots.

Prehensile-tailed porcupines are found in South America. They feed on the bark of trees, buds, fruits, roots, stems, leaves, blossoms, seeds, and crops like corn and bananas. At the zoo, the porcupines’ diet consists of yams, carrots, greens, and leaf eater biscuits.

The porcupette is currently on exhibit with its parents Zoey and Mattie in the New World Tropics building.

The Binghamton Zoo is located at 60 Morgan Rd. in Binghamton, N.Y. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children ages three to 11. The admission booth is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and the zoo closes at 5 p.m.

For information, call (607) 724-5461 or visit the zoo website at