African Crested Porcupine

African Crested Porcupine

African Crested Porcupine
Hystrix cristata


CLASS
Mammalia
ORDER
Rodentia
FAMILY
Hystricidae

Range

Italy, Sicily, and Northern Africa (as far south as Tanzania and northern Congo)


Habitat

Forests, rocky areas, savannas, and deserts


Diet

Bark, roots, tubers, nuts, fruits, insects, and small vertebrates

Weight

22 - 66 lbs.

Size

2 - 3 ft

Gestation

112 days

Young

1-2 per litter

IUCN Status

Least Concern

Facts

  • The African crested porcupine is the world’s largest species of porcupine.
  • They will dig their own burrows or take over abandoned aardvark burrows. A family group will develop an extensive inter-connected burrow system.
  • These are nocturnal animals, so they mostly sleep inside their burrows during the day and forage for food at night.
  • At birth, the baby porcupines, called porcupettes, are covered in soft, sensitive bristles rather than hard quills.
  • When disturbed, they stamp their feet and charge the enemy, back end first, attempting to stab with the thicker, shorter quills. Such attacks have been known to kill lions, leopard, hyenas, and humans.

 

Conservation

They are not considered threatened as a species but are overhunted in some areas.

Least Concern

Open Daily 9 am - 5 pm

Closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day

Address

Alexandria Zoo
3016 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301
P: (318) 441-6810

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