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African Crested Porcupine

Hystrix cristata

  1. Not Evaluated
  2. Data Deficient
  3. Least Concern
  4. Near Threatened
  5. Vulnerable
  6. Endangered
  7. Critically Endangered
  8. Extinct in the Wild
  9. Extinct

About Us

The African crested porcupine is the largest species of porcupine in the world and one of the largest rodents in the world. The name porcupine comes from the French ‘porc espin’, meaning spined pig, and in some places they are referred to as the ‘quill pig’. These names come from the fact that the porcupine is coated in long sharp quills. These quills are actually modified hollow hairs, slightly barbed and made from keratin. When alarmed the porcupine will run backwards and embed its quills into the predator.

Woburn's 'Desert Springs' enclosure is home to female porcupine, Noku. As a naturally nocturnal species, Noku is very shy during the day time, but she always wakes up to come and eat her favourite food, banana.

North and sub-Saharan Africa, mainland Italy and Sicily
Mediterranean forests, scrubland
Weight: 10kg-30kg, Length: 63cm-93cm
10kg to 30kg
Gestation Period
112 days
Wild: 12 - 15 years. Captivity: up to 20 years
Persecution from farmers, poisoning and hunting