Take a peek at Bella, the new prehensile-tailed porcupette, during your next stroll through the Small Mammals building! She can be found residing with the armadillos.
Bella was born in her habitat on Oct. 19 to mom Quinn and dad Seamus, weighing just 486 grams. She was mobile immediately, walking and climbing trees. The animal care team reports that Bella has been very active and curious since the day she was born, exploring the habitat and participating in enrichment activities. Bella is now more than 1,000 grams and quite squirmy — almost too big to weigh!
She’s still nursing but beginning to nibble on Quinn’s meals, including fruit, vegetables, greens, and Rodent Block pellets, and practicing picking up and holding her own food. Bella is also learning how to use her prehensile tail in combination with her feet. Prehensile-tailed porcupines are arboreal animals, spending most of their time in the trees of South American forests, and they use their tails for grasping and hanging. They’re also nocturnal and are known to move to a new tree each day.
Bella is the third daughter born to Quinn and Seamus, who are a breeding pair. The prehensile-tailed porcupine is part of a Species Survival Plan® (SSP) program at the Zoo, and Bella will ultimately be transferred to another approved facility.
But for now, stop by and say hello to her!