Micke Grove Zoo has acquired a young male Brazilian tree porcupine from Assiniboine Park Zoo of Winnipeg, Canada.
The tree porcupine arrived on Dec. 10. It is currently being housed on exhibit inside the Tropical Forest Canopy after having successfully passed mandatory 30-day quarantine and health exams.
“We are excited to add him to our zoo family,” said Micke Grove Zoo’s Colleen Mullikin, the animal care specialist assigned to oversee his care. “He is such a unique animal for me to work with, and for our guests to observe. I think they are going to love him as much as we do.”
Wild Brazilian tree porcupines are native to countries in South America and populate in a diverse range of habitats which include dry and wet forests as well as grassland ecosystems. Both arboreal and nocturnal, tree porcupines are covered with quills except on their tail tips where it would hinder their tree-climbing abilities. They have long prehensile tails, like our zoo’s Black-handed Spider Monkeys, which can be used to hold onto branches while they are climbing or foraging in trees. Tree porcupines also have curved claws on their fore and hind feet to assist them in climbing into the upper reaches of trees and sport pink fleshy snouts that provide them with a well-developed sense of smell. As the species is herbivorous, they feed on leaves, tubers, flowers and buds, stems, seeds, grains and nuts.
Micke Grove Zoo is now a part of the Species Survival Plan for Brazilian tree porcupines that is operated by the Association of Zoo and Aquariums (AZA). Through this program, the zoo contributes to the conservation of the species by breeding them successfully in captivity, and by sharing vital information with visitors on the conservation efforts currently being conducted in the field. Thus, the zoo is eager to acquire a young female in the near future to provide the male with companionship. She will likely appear larger than him since females are typically larger than males.
Micke Grove Zoo is owned by San Joaquin County and is located at 11793 N. Micke Grove Road in Micke Grove Regional Park (one mile west of Highway 99 in Lodi).
The cost of zoo admission is $5 for visitors ages 14 and older, $3 for visitors ages 3-13, and free for guests under the age of 3 and to those who are members of the Micke Grove Zoological Society. The Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Christmas and last gate admission is at 4:30 p.m.
Separate parking fees apply and can be reviewed at www.sjparks.com. Learn more about Micke Grove Zoo and its programs and opportunities at www.mgzoo.com.