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The Binghamton Zoo Celebrates Birth of Baby Porcupine

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By FOX 40 Staff.
The Binghamton Zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby prehensile-tailed porcupine, and they want your help choosing a name!

On March 17th, second-time parents Mattie and Zoey gave birth to the porcupine.

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!

The porcupine naming 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.

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.