A North American porcupine born during the winter is making its debut at the Prospect Park Zoo.
Barb, born in February to parents Needles and Spike, is strutting her stuff in her new habitat along the zoo’s discovery trail. She is the first offspring of the prickly pair.
As a newborn, Barb’s characteristic quills are very soft, but they will soon harden as she ages into an effective predator-repellent. Some porcupines have as many as 30,000 quills with tiny barbs on each tip that can pull off from the porcupine and become lodged into a predator when they come in contact with the spiky critter.
“Spike and Needles are the first porcupines exhibited at Prospect Park Zoo in nearly ten years,” said Prospect Park Zoo Director Denise McClean. “The successful breeding is not only a testament to their comfort with their habitat and care, the arrival of Barb ensures that we can continue to showcase this fascinating species well into the future.”
North American Porcupines’ range extends across most of the continent.
Prospect Park Zoo (940 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Park), 10 am — 5 pm Mon-Fri, 10 am — 5:30 Sat, Sun. www.prospectparkzoo.com, 718 399-7339