Keepers at ZSL London Zoo have shared the first images and footage of an adorable baby porcupine - known as a porcupette - born at the Zoo last month. 

Herbie the baby porcupine eating some sweetcorn at ZSL London Zoo

Born to parents Hettie and Henning on Monday 2 August, the baby cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) has spent the past six weeks settling into the family’s cosy indoor dens, only emerging at night, accompanied by its protective parents, Hettie and Henning. 

Footage from CCTV, set up to monitor the first-time family, shows the nocturnal youngster - nicknamed Herbie by zookeepers – scampering around as it explores after dark. 
Cape porcupines are native to central and southern Africa and are the largest of all the porcupine species. Baby porcupines are born miniature versions of their parents, with a full set of soft quills, and weighing less than a pound - the quills quickly harden to protect them from predators.  
Zookeeper Veronica Heldt said: “We’ve kept a watchful eye on the family via CCTV since its birth and have been pleased to see Herbie zooming around outside.  

“As the little one grows in confidence, visitors - particularly those staying overnight at the ZSL London Zoo Lodges - will be able to spot Herbie following Hettie and Henning around their paddock, learning porcupine skills such as foraging for food.” 
Keepers will discover the sex of the youngster after its first health check, when one of its quills will be sent for DNA testing. 
Explore the wonders of wildlife this September at ZSL London Zoo - book now

Book ZSL London Zoo tickets

More news from ZSL

Tiger cub has his teeth checked by a ZSL vet

Sumatran tiger cub triplets are sexed and vaccinated during first official health check 

Golden headed lion tamarin Samira being weighed by keeper Veronica Heldt

Penguins, squirrel monkeys and camels are just some of the animals who had their vital statistics recorded at ZSL London Zoo’s 2022 annual weigh-...

A colobus leaps from a rope ladder in the Monkey Valley walkthrough exhibit

ZSL London Zoo unveiled its landmark new Monkey Valley walkthrough exhibit this morning (July 28), revealing the iconic former Snowdon Aviary's...