Chance to name Linton Zoo’s prickly new Christmas arrival

Dad Henry with Porcupette 13 days old
Dad Henry with Porcupette 13 days old

Linton Zoo is celebrating the birth of a prickly new arrival by giving people the chance the name it.

Linton Zoo is celebrating the birth of a prickly new arrival by giving people the chance the name it.

The porcupette – a baby porcupine – was born to parents Halla and Henry on December 10. Now the zoo is running a competition to name the porcupette, which has not yet been sexed, with the winner receiving annual sponsorship of the animal for the year.

The competition can be entered through the zoo’s Facebook page or

Kim Simmons, from the zoo, said: “We do not know whether the baby is a boy or a girl so please suggest names suitable for either, a Christmassy name would be nice too.

“The person who suggested the chosen name will receive annual sponsorship of the Porcupette and will receive a sponsorship pack, which we can post out to anywhere in the world, so wherever you live get your thinking caps on.”

Mum Halla was born at Chester Zoo in July 2009, then she moved to the Welsh Mountain Zoo before arriving at Linton in July 2012.

Dad Henry was born at Colchester Zoo in January 2000 arrived at Linton Zoo in May 2008.

Porcupines come from Sub-saharan Africa and live in rocky outcrops and hills.

They are nocturnal being most active after dark and spend most of the day sleeping, waking occasionally to eat.

The hollow quills in the tail are rattled, followed by a series of growls and grunts and foot stamping.

Only if this fails to deter the attacker then they will charge backwards to impale with the spikes.

The quills which are simply modified hairs, do detach easily giving rise to the myth that they ‘fire’ the quills, this is completely untrue.

The gestation period if around 112 days and as you can see from the photos the babies are born like miniature adults.

Kim added: “Just when we thought we’d got all the zoo babies we were going to have for the year you can imagine our delight to discover this prickly little bundle.

“We really must congratulate first time mum and dad who are proving to be the perfect parents, regularly feeding and grooming the little porcupette, keeping it nice and warm under the heat lamp.

“Naturally the new arrival is proving to be bit of a distraction for our staff.

“Due to the infrared lamps in the bedroom area it’s easy for us to see in without the porcupines knowing we’re there.

“It’s fascinating to watch the interaction between parents and the new baby and we’re amazed at how attentative they both are, especially dad who’s often left to babysit while mum goes food forraging.”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (January 3) Echo.