The Binghamton Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a prehensile-tailed porcupine on March 17th, 2016 to second-time parents Mattie and Zoey.
The birth of this porcupine is a major success for the prehensile-tailed porcupine’s Species
Survival Plan. Mattie came to the Binghamton Zoo in November 2014 under recommendations
from the SSP as a breeding candidate for Zoey. Mattie and Zoey successfully had Norwan on
Father’s Day 2015, and now are caring for their newest addition, born on St. Patrick’s Day 2016!
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. The Binghamton
Zoo is proud to be a contributor to the captive population and is eager to continue participating in the program.
Zoo officials have been monitoring the progress of the porcupine and its parents. Weighing in at
410 grams, the baby has progressively gained weight since birth. The porcupine will not be
sexed for several more weeks.
Porcupines are not born with sharp or barbed quills. Instead, the 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 4 weeks after birth, eventually
foraging for other food sources and will then be completely weaned at 15 weeks.
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.
The porcupine is currently on exhibit with its parents Zoey and Mattie and sister Norwan in the
New World Tropics building. Meet the little this one weekend at Eggstravaganza! Admission
booth is open from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm and the zoo closes at 4:00 pm.
Help us choose a name for our baby porcupine by voting in our naming contest! The contest will
start March 22nd and end on March 27th. The winner will be announced on the Binghamton Zoo’s
Facebook during the week of March 28th. To vote, please visit rossparkzoo.com.
The Binghamton Zoo is located at 60 Morgan Road in Binghamton, NY. For information, call
(607) 724-5461 or visit the zoo website at rossparkzoo.com.