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Dorchester has it all – including porcupettes!

When it comes to wildlife, Dorchester has it all.  We’ve got turkeys, bunnies, even bald eagles!  Two baby porcupettes can also call Dorchester their home!  According to Franklin Park Zoo, last month, Penelope, a 4-year-old Cape porcupine, gave birth to two porcupettes!   This is a first for its species for the zoo.  Each baby weighed under a pound at birth.  You can see a really cute video them on Instagram. 

The porcupettes are currently bonding with their parents. When they are ready to make their exhibit debut, the zoo will update their social media.  So make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Some interesting facts about Cape porcupines via Franklin Park Zoo:

Cape porcupines are nocturnal, and, unlike new world porcupines, they’re exclusively terrestrial. They may be found in small family groups, but they tend to forage alone and to follow the same paths searching for food. They’ll modify natural shelters, such as caves, crevices or burrows created by other animals. If no suitable shelter is available, they will dig their own burrow. In the wild, these animals can be found in a variety of habitats in southern Africa.

Contrary to popular belief, porcupines do not shoot their quills when startled or attacked. When alarmed, the quills are erected and the porcupine puts its back toward the threat for maximum protection. Porcupines shake their specially-modified, hollow quills, known as “rattle quills.” As protection, the quills are shed upon impact, so they become imbedded in an attacker. 

For zoo hours and information, visit their website. 

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and Caught in Dot and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Hockey mom, yoga enthusiast, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.