We have had porcupines in our collection since our earliest days, and quite a variety, too! Currently, the San Diego Zoo has an exhibit of Indian crested porcupines along Park Way. A Brazilian tree porcupine, Canadian porcupine, and southern crested porcupine live in the Children’s Zoo. Some of these porcupines have been trained as animal ambassadors; they often meet guests up close and make television appearances.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park also has a southern crested porcupine that serves as an animal ambassador and Canadian porcupines, which are currently off exhibit.
Porcupines have been exterminated in populated parts of Africa because they eat root crops. People also collect quills for ornaments. The thin-spined porcupine Chaetomys subspinosus is listed as vulnerable, losing its habitat due to cocoa plantations in northeastern Brazil. The Phillipine porcupine Hystrix pumila is also vulnerable, due to the rapid loss of its forest habitat and the pet trade. Both species are also hunted as food.
You can help us bring species back from the brink by supporting the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy. Together we can save and protect wildlife around the globe.