In Otter News: Zoey and Paulo the Prehensile Tailed Porcupines

Porcupines are nocturnal animals, but the Lake Superior Zoo provides the perfect opportunity to see them in action. The red light that floods the space mimics the night and allows us to see them into their world. These animals are especially active right after breakfast.

This specific porcupine is native to South and Central America and features a prehensile tail, which means it is used for grasping. They use their tails to hang onto branches and climb around.

One of the most recognizable features of this animal is their quills. They have a very high quill to hair ratio. “Porcupines can not shoot their quills. That’s a common myth” Lead Zookeeper Emily Perala tells us. However if a quill does do into your skin it will soften and make it even more difficult to get out. “These are not pleasant to get in your skin, speaking from personal experience” Emily admits.