Friday, 25 September 2009

Prickly Pair to Porfell

Our two African Crested Porcupines have recently been transferred to a new home. We took the decision to rehome the male and female for several reasons. Firstly, as the animals are nocturnal, visitors were often unable to see them. The zoo is not currently in a position to build facilities which would improve viewing (for instance by constructing a nocturnal house). Also, although the enclosure had been extended in the last two years, it was very old and we felt no longer suitable for housing the rodents.

Our curator Will managed to find a home for the pair at Porfell Wildlife Park and Sanctuary near Liskeard in Cornwall. In return we will be collecting a small number of young wallabies from this collection during the next month. We are planning to keep the new arrivals with our African pygmy goats in their walk through exhibit.

Porcupines defend themselves using their long, sharp quills. They can be very dangerous and will charge backwards towards a predator so that the quills become embedded, often in the muzzle, of the animal. As you can imagine, keepers were a little wary when the day came to crate them up! However, they were smoothly ushered into their transport crate through their house using only a broom and a keepers rather loud voice!

As you can see from the photo below we have now demolished their old home. The porcupines had been quite destructive, so much so, that repairing the enclosure for another animal was not really viable. We will let you know when our wallabies arrive.

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