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Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park celebrates new porcupette

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park announced the newest birth at the park, a baby Prehensile-tailed porcupine.

The new addition is the fifth offspring of parents Zoey and Mattie.

The baby was born on August 21 and has been progressively gaining weight. On Wednesday the baby porcupine, called a porcupette, weighed in at 610 grams.

Like the other births at the park, this is a major success for the Prehensile-tailed porcupine’s Species Survival Plan. Parents Mattie and Zoey have remained a successful breeding pair for the program.

This baby’s birth is significant as Zoey’s last breeding cycle failed to produce a birth. Normally, this means the porcupine will not give birth again.

However, the zoo was very excited when they noticed she was pregnant, with the birth proving a failed birthing cycle is not the end for a porcupine.

The gender of the baby is yet to be determined because there is no external way to determine a porcupines gender.

“There’s no external way to know the gender of a porcupine so we will be finding out the gender in the next couple of weeks, and we will be launching a naming contest. Giving that it was born during our Feast with the Beasts, we will be encouraging people to come up with food related names for the newest porcupette,” said Phillip Ginter, Executive Director of the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park.

The zoo encourages people to come up with food-related names because the baby was born during Feasts with the Beasts.

The zoo is active in 22 SSP programs all together. Each SSP carefully manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining captive population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

Prehensile-tailed porcupines are found in South America. They feed on the bark of trees, buds, fruits, roots, stems, leaves, blossoms, seeds and crops like corn and bananas.

The zoo’s fall fundraising campaign highlights the Species Survival Plans and their efforts to continue working and engaging with animals from around the world.

Chris Overby

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