Baby porcupines born at Franklin Park Zoo

Baby porcupines born at Franklin Park Zoo

Credit: Zoo New England

FRANKLIN, Mass. — There are two new, cute faces at the Franklin Park Zoo.

Two Cape porcupettes -- baby porcupines -- were born to first-time mom Penelope on Oct. 6. They each weighed just under a pound. This is the first birth of this species at the zoo.

"This is Penelope's first litter, and she has been a wonderful mom. As with any birth, we are closely monitoring the mom and babies, and so far have been very encouraged by their progress," said Christine Bartos, assistant curator of Hooves and Horns at the Franklin Park Zoo.

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The babies were born with their eyes open and are already moving around. There quills are soft but will harden soon.

They're nibbling on solid food and trying to share with their parents, Penelope and Kiazi, as sharing helps them learn what type of foods are safe to eat. The behavior is typical of Cape porcupines, who take an active role in raising their babies.

Bartos said it's tough to determine the sex of the porcupettes, but staffers believe they have one male and one female.

"The female is the larger one, and as is typical for this species, she is feistier. She stomped her feet and rattled her little quills at us from the first day," Bartos said.

The babies are bonding with their parents off exhibit, but when they're ready to make their debut, the zoo will update its Facebook page and website.