Cape Porcupine | Welsh Mountain Zoo

Cape Porcupine

Hystrix cristata

  • Not Evaluated
  • Data Deficient
  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

Part of the Rodent family, the Cape Porcupine is the largest species of Porcupine in the world. Covered in sharp hollow quills which are coated in keratin, when alarmed the Cape Porcupine will use the quill as part of its defence mechanism by spreading them out and backing towards its threat.

Native Range →

North and sub-Saharan Africa and Mediterranean Europe

Natural Habitat  →

Shrubland, grassland, forest and savanna

Diet  →

Roots, bark and fallen fruit, occasionally insects and small mammals

Life Expectancy  →

12-15 years in the wild. Up to 20 years in zoos

Breeding  →

1-3 porcupettes after a 93 - 94 day gestation period

Group Name  →


Active Hours  →

During the night

Threats  →

Hunted for meat, habitat loss

Fun fact

Porcupines are covered with as many as 30,000 quills and some quills are over 12 inches long!

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