BIOPARC Valencia has a new resident- a baby South African porcupine called Asani, meaning rebel in the Swahili language.
South African porcupines- Hystrix africaeaustralis- are the biggest types of porcupine in the world, and can grow to 80 cms in length and weigh up to 26 kilos.
Asani is the fifth offspring of Pincho and Pincha, and BIOPARC staff noticed that she was not being breastfed by her mother.
It was decided for a short time to keep Asani away from her parents because of the baby’s fragility and to provide food from a bottle.
Asani, whose sex has yet to be determined, has already reached a kilo in weight and once it rises another 500 grams, the bottle feedings will alternate with fruit, vegetables and fodder to vary the diet.
Once Asani reaches a large enough size, the baby will be reintegrated with its parents and another of their children called Cresta.
Last year two porcupine pups born in BIOPARC Valencia moved to BIOPARC Fuengirola, where their growth has been excellent and is expected to be part of the educational exhibition ‘Claro de selva’.
The South African porcupine is a rodent mammal included in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list of endangered species.
Although their population is stable, the main threat is habitat loss and persecution, as they are considered harmful to crops in agricultural areas.