Photo courtesy St. Augustine Alligator Farm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The St. Augustine Alligator Farm welcomed its newest addition. Pollie, a prehensile-tailed porcupine, was born at the zoological park August 2.
Pollie the porcupette (a newborn porcupine) was born a healthy 396 grams, which is a whopping .87 pounds, to proud parents Olivier and Miss Piggy, according to a release from The St. Augustine Alligator Farm.
Olivier and Miss Piggy regularly appear in the zoo's educational presentations. Olivier, who goes by "Ollie", was born at the Memphis Zoo. He has called St. Augustine home since 1998.
His better half, Miss Piggy, was born at the Tautphaus Park Zoo in Idaho before relocating to the sunshine state in 2010.
Pollie is the pair's first offspring and is also the first prehensile-tailed porcupine born at The Alligator Farm.
Prehensile-tailed porcupines live in the forested regions of northern and central South America and the islands Trinidad and Tobago.
The porcupines are nocturnal and herbivores. During the day, they rest in tree cavities or canopies. The average gestation period for a prehensile-tailed porcupine is about 203 days.
There are currently just over 100 prehensile-tailed porcupines living in AZA-accredited zoos. The Alligator Farm's pair represents just one of 22 pairs recommended by the Species Survival Plan Coordinator for breeding.
"We're very excited to welcome our newest addition, Pollie. She's our first prehensile-tailed porcupine birth, so this is a landmark event for us," said Alligator Farm Director John Brueggen.
Right now, Pollie is a female, but zoo staff cautioned that could change since it is difficult to determine her sex this early.
Pollie's mother will nurse her for about ten weeks. Pollie began using her prehensile tail three days after she was born.
For the time being, Pollie is covered with long, soft, reddish quills. Prehensile-tailed porcupines grow their thicker, sharper quills that cover adult porcupines within a few days.
As early as next week, Pollie may be brought into the park by keepers for impromptu meet and greets.
First Coast News