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Derived from the French, the name ‘Porcupine’ means ‘spiny pig’. Apt, because your average porcupine has more than 30,000 quills and grunts freely when it forages for food. Though mainly nocturnal, the Porcupines at Porfell enjoy their new home in an enclosure by the Maasai Village and can often be seen snouting around while the sun’s up.


Porcupine quills are highly prized as fishing floats. Using them does not harm Porcupines because they come off naturally and grow back quickly.

Porcupine facts

  • Conservation Status:
    Least Concern
  • Habitat: tropical forests, deserts, mountains
  • Range: Americas, Southern Asia, Africa
  • No of species: 29
  • Lifespan: up to 20 years
  • Weight:  1-27+kg
Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Suborder: Hystriocomorpha


Porcupine enjoying its new Maasai Village enclosure at Porfell Wildlife Park in Cornwall.

When a porcupine feels threatened it will spread its quills for protection.

Porcupine are herbivores, feeding mostly on leaves and tree bark, but they’re also partial to a piece of fruit.

Porcupine feeding on bananas at Porfell.

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Owl Flying in Cornwall at Porfell

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