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Coachella Valley’s Living Desert is proud to announce the African Crested baby porcupine

Coachella Valley’s Living Desert is proud to announce the African Crested baby porcupine

The Living Desert is proud to announce the African Crested baby porcupine, born at the zoo in May, is now part of the Animal Encounters Program and is currently being trained for a part in the Wildlife Wonders show starting in October.

The female baby porcupine (porcupette), named Tootsie, was born on May 23rd at The Living Desert.

Tootsie Porcupine

Tootsie Porcupine

The Animal Encounter program includes up close and personal interaction with an animal. The Wildlife Wonders Show gives zoo-goers a more in-depth view into their daily interactions and behaviors.

“We are excited to introduce this baby porcupine into our Animal Encounters program and look forward to her debut in the Wildlife Wonders show next month,” says Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “It’s always a pleasure to showcase the babies born here at the zoo in an interactive manner.”


The African Crested porcupine is one of Africa’s largest rodents. Adults grow up to 29 inches long and weigh anywhere from 18 to 51 pounds. They are vegetarians, feeding on wild roots, bulbs, berries and other plants. In cultivated areas they eat groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkins, melons and maize. Their only predators are large carnivores.

The quills on the neck and back are black and white and the tips of the tail quills can range up to 20 inches long. They make a rattling sound when the porcupine feels threatened. It is called a crested porcupine because some quills can be erected into a crest, which starts at the top of the head and extends to the shoulder.

The Living Desert is open daily June 1 to September 30 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and October 1 to May 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission ranges from $8.75-$17.25 (children under 3 are free). Membership prices begin at $55 for an individual and $100 for a family of four and includes early admission, discounts, special events and more. For more information: (760) 346-5694 or visit www.LivingDesert.org

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