African Crested Porcupine

Basic Information:

Scientific Name: Hystrix africaeaustralis

Habitat: The African crested porcupine is found across North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa as well as Italy. 

Diet: African crested porcupines are herbivores and eat roots, bulbs, and leaves, but are also known to eat insects, small vertebrates, and carrion.

Size: 2 to 3 feet long

Weight: 22 to 66 pounds

Lifespan: 14.5 years according to AZA Species Survival Statistics

Distribution Map:

I.U.C.N. Conservation Status:

What does this mean?

Least Concern – a species determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) to be pervasive, abundant, and thriving.

Our African Crested Porcupines:

Joey (Female) – Born March 16, 2012
Buttercup (Female) – Born April 2, 2018

Did You Know?!

  • When it is confronted by a predator, the African crested porcupine raises its 12-13 inch quills to appear larger. If this strategy doesn’t chase off the predator, the porcupine stamps its feet and rattles its hollow-tipped tail quills. The last resort is to run backwards and ram the attacker with the short, thick quills on its backside.
  • Crested porcupines are nocturnal and forage alone at night. They can travel up to 9 miles in their search for food.
  • Crested porcupines are monogamous and live in small family groups, called prickles, that are comprised of an adult pair or an adult pair with offspring.
  • Like other rodents, crested porcupines have a single pair of sharp, continually growing incisor teeth that they use to gnaw and rip tough plant material. They must continually chew hard objects to file their teeth down.
  • Crested porcupines are the largest rodent in Africa and the largest of the porcupines. 

Due to the INCLEMENT WEATHER, the Utica Zoo will be closed on TUESDAY, MARCH 14. We apologize for the inconvenience.