The crested porcupine at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo may be going on a diet, Zoo Supervisor/Curator Sara Hamlin said Wednesday. “He is kind of a chunky monkey.”
Local veterinarians Dr. Mike Malone and Dr. Jackie Corbett performed a physical exam on the animal. These routine procedures typically occur on Wednesdays and the public can watch through a window located in the zoo’s headquarters, the Raptor Center.
Hamlin said the zoo has acquired a second crested porcupine, also a male, and she hopes the two will share exhibit space. The new porcupine has completed its mandatory 30-day quarantine for new animals but is still off-exhibit. After making sure the older animal has a clean bill of health, zoo staff will attempt to introduce the two sometime in the next month.
Crested porcupines come from Northern Africa and are the largest porcupines on earth. Unlike North American porcupines, their quills can be up to 21 inches long.
Thanksgiving is one of the few days of the year when the zoo is closed to the public, but this year the zoo stayed closed for five days due to the icy sidewalks. The North American animals didn’t mind the weather much. Hamlin said the arctic foxes have an igloo they can stay in but they preferred to stay outside even on cold days.
The staff at the zoo hope to revamp the gift shop in 2016 and are asking patrons what kind of things they’d like to see. Leave a message at the zoo or on Facebook.