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When threatened, the Cape porcupine erects its spines and quills to look bigger. Contrary to popular belief, a porcupine cannot shoot its spines and quills. However, the spines and quills can embed in an intruder’s flesh if they come into contact. The porcupine grows new spines and quills to replace those that are lost.

baby porcupine

Did You Know?

Active at night, the Cape porcupine digs up roots and tubers with its strong claws.

Quick Facts

Latin Name:
Hystrix africaeaustralis

Central and Southern Africa

Savannah, scrubland and forest

2.5 to 3 ft

12 to 15 yrs

Zoo Location:
Cheetah Encounter

Fruit, roots, tubers and bulbs