Skip to main content

Indian crested porcupine

Did you know?

Hystrix indica

A porcupine’s best defense is that formidable set of quills on its back. But it can’t “throw” them. Instead, it thrusts backward to spear a predator. The quills come loose and stick into skin, eyes or mouth.

Discover Porcupines

Habitat
Wild and Zoo
Indian crested porcupines live in rocky hills, deserts and forests from Turkey to India. They’re around 2-3 feet long, but their quills can be over a foot long! Find ours in the Asian Forest Sanctuary.
Asian Forest Sanctuary
Meet the Keepers
(not prickly at all)
Keepers in our Asian Forest Sanctuary give a chat daily. Ask questions about each animal, and find out how our zoo team feeds and cares for them.
Zookeeper Life: Sam
Eating
(and predators!)
Porcupines are mostly vegetarian – they eat fruits, nuts, bulbs, roots and bark. But they may chew on bones if they need extra calcium.
Their main predators are humans, tigers and other wild cats.
Porcupettes
Yes, really.
After a 112-day pregnancy, females give birth to a litter of 1-3 baby porcupines, called “porcupettes”.
The babies are born with soft quills that harden after a few hours – but parents still lick their young to bond with them.
In a prickle
Literally.
Did you know that a group of porcupines is called a “prickle”? But Indian crested porcupines usually forage alone, except for mothers with young.
Mostly nocturnal, they rest during the day in burrows they make themselves.

Protecting Porcupines

Living in harmony.

THE THREAT: Indian crested porcupines, like their American counterparts, are common, and not in danger as a species. In fact, in parts of Asia they are so numerous as to be considered pests, and are hunted as food.

TAKE ACTION: What native animals do we consider pests or a problem in the Northwest? Can we live in harmony with them? Read more on our sister zoo website, Northwest Trek.

Asian Forest Stories

Zoo Bamboo

It’s one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. It’s used for buildings, dishes, musical instruments. It’s food for animals and people. And there are over 45 types at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. We’re talking bamboo, that leggy, elegant plant known for both lush garden vibes as well as gardener headaches if it gets … Continued

Read More
Animals Cool Off in the Heatwave

As a powerful heat wave hits the greater Tacoma area with temperatures nearing 100-degrees, keepers at both Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Wash. and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville, Wash. are finding ways to keep the animals cool. At Point Defiance Zoo, 2-month-old penguin chick Rio is just learning how to swim … Continued

Read More
Bad luck for wildlife: 7 Animal Superstitions

Whenever Friday the 13th rolls around, even the least superstitious of us might look askance at a black cat or shiver at an owl hoot. But animal superstitions, although fun, can cause pretty bad luck for the wildlife who cross their paths. After all, we live in a world where 350,000 tourists can visit Scotland … Continued

Read More
Who's Nearby?
Spotted our porcupines? Then look for our siamangs! They’ll be swinging high in the ropes, rotating with the other animals around the Asian Forest Sanctuary habitats.