EL PASO, Texas – The El Paso Zoo is welcoming a new baby into the South American Pavilion. The porcupine was born on September 16 to mom Flower and dad Vito. This is first offspring for the 4-year-old prehensile tailed porcupines – and the first baby prehensile tailed porcupine born at the Zoo.

Zoo staff is waiting to name the baby porcupine, or porcupette, under the sex of the baby can be determined in a few weeks. The porcupette weighed .95 pounds when it was born. The face of a prehensile tailed porcupine is irresistible – two dark round eyes and a curiously large, bulbous, whiskered nose set in a soft ball of speckled spines. The baby’s quills will turn from soft and orange colored to hard about 1-2 weeks after the baby’s birth, so resist the urge to cuddle!

“Animal care staff were excited getting ready for the first prehensile tailed porcupine birth at the Zoo since they confirmed the pregnancy,” said Collections Supervisor Tammy Sundquist. “It’s always a joy getting to watch a baby grow and the animal care staff is monitoring Flower and baby closely.”

Flower and the baby are bonding behind the scenes and will be on exhibit next month.

This birth is part of a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) to aid in the species’ conservation.  Prehensile tailed porcupines are not listed as threatened or endangered, but are pressured by habitat loss and are killed in parts of their range by hunters.

WHO: El Paso Zoo, El Paso Rhinos Hockey Coach and General Manager Cory Herman

WHAT:A group of rhinos is a called a crash - and Rhinos Hockey Coach Cory is “crashing” the party at the El Paso Zoo! Instead of working with the Rhinos, he’ll join the Zoo’s animal experts as a zookeeper for a day. Coach Cory, along with the El Paso zookeepers, will be working with animals from Africa. Check it out on social media using the hashtag: #rhionscrashthezoo

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Friday, September 16

WHERE: El Paso Zoo, 4001 E. Paisano Dr.

WHY: The El Paso Rhinos and the El Paso Zoo are committed to wildlife conservation across the globe. The Rhinos and the Zoo are working together to make saving wildlife fun. When you visit the Zoo or buy a membership, a portion of those funds go toward worldwide wildlife conservation projects, from protecting giraffes and lions in Africa, to working with elephant and orangutan institutions in Asia to local conservation projects involving Mexican grey wolves, Bolson tortoises and more.

EL PASO, Texas –Today, the El Paso City Council approved the construction contract for the El Paso Zoo African Wetlands Red River hog exhibit and holding building to local construction agency Pride General Contractors.
The $557,784 construction project is one of the zoo’s Quality of Life Bond (QOL) projects that will create a new exhibit space for new animals.
Improvements include an interior and exterior behind the scenes living space, a new exhibit area and improvements to the existing wetlands pond exhibit. The exterior space includes shading and a training areas for animals.
Pride General Contractors, LLC is an El Paso general construction company that brings more than 30 years of experience in both small and large scale construction, repair, and alteration projects focusing on commercial, industrial and private contracting.
This Quality of Life Bond project is part of the Zoo’s master plan, which is the framework for moving the Zoo forward in an innovative direction. On November 6, 2012, El Paso voters approved $470 million worth of improvements to parks, libraries, museums, downtown and the El Paso Zoo. The ballot question received an overwhelming 75 percent response in favor of approving the Quality of Life Bond Issue.