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Baby porcupine born at Brookfield Zoo

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Brookfield Zoo is welcoming a new member to the family, a baby porcupine.

Also known as a porcupette, the little one was born on March 19 at the zoo, and is being hand-reared by animal care staff, because its 9-year-old mother, Lucia, has not been providing proper maternal care, according to the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages the zoo.

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A baby porcupine, also known as a porcupette, was born at Brookfield Zoo on March 19, 2022. Jim Schulz/CZS-Brookfield Zoo

Zoo officials don’t know yet whether the prehensile-tailed porcupette is a boy or a girl. 

When first born, baby porcupines have soft, bendable quills to protect their mother. The quills harden after a few days. Prehensile-tailed porcupines also are born with a rusty-colored coat that helps them blend in with their environment.

After the porcupette has been weaned, it will join its parents at Brookfield Zoo’s Animal Ambassador program in Hamill Family Play Zoo.

Prehensile-tailed porcupines are found throughout much of South America, and live in high-elevation rain forests. Their long tails are used to grip branches while climbing.

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A baby porcupine, also known as a porcupette, was born at Brookfield Zoo on March 19, 2022. Jim Schulz/CZS-Brookfield Zoo

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