African Crested Porcupine

The African crested porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world.


The African crested porcupine's body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses. Its most heavily armed area is its hindquarters, which have short, thick quills.

  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

African Crested Porcupine


African crested porcupines eat tubers, bark, bulbs, fallen fruit and cultivated root crops. They are nocturnal and forage alone at night, travelling up to 9 miles in their search for food. They return to the den and rest during the day. Though they forage alone, they live in small family groups made up of an adult pair and their young, both infants and juveniles. They develop elaborate burrows to house this family group.

The sharp, sturdy quills of the African crested porcupine give it highly effective protection against predators. Its body is covered with coarse quills 1 to 13 inches long and of varying thicknesses. Its most heavily armed area is its hindquarters, which have short, thick quills.

 

 

Meet Nancy & Ellie


Our two African Crested Porcupines are called Nancy & Ellie. They joined the Paradise family in June 2021 and have settled in really well.

Nancy spends the majority of her day asleep in bed and then spends her evenings digging holes and chewing on the logs and branches keepers have placed in the enclosure.

Ellie is a little timider than her housemate, Nancy but keepers say she is settling in very well. Nancy has even taken Ellie under her wing (or spikes!) and they are often seen cuddling up in bed together.

Key Facts

Family:
Hystricidae
Diet:
African crested porcupines eat tubers, bark, bulbs, fallen fruit and cultivated root crops.
Life Span:
Around 20 years
Number of Young:
Usually have one litter per year after a pregnancy lasting about 112 days.
Distribution:
Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Italy
Habitat:
They live in hilly, rocky habitats
Did you know?
Porcupine offspring are known as "porcupettes”.

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