Video and photos: First birthday celebrated for prehensile-tailed porcupine at Brookfield Zoo on World Porcupine Day

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Chicago Zoological Society press release:

Since his birth on July 2, 2018, Quilbert, a prehensile-tailed porcupine at Brookfield Zoo, has become a popular member of the zoo’s ambassador animal program. To commemorate his first birthday today—which also happens to be World Porcupine Day—staff and zoo guests joined in a celebration for Quilbert at the Hamill Family Wild Encounters.

After a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday to You,” animal care staff presented Quilbert with a nutritious layered cake made of biscuits, sweet potato, peanut butter, jelly, butternut squash, cucumbers, carrots, and zucchini. Topping the cake was a green bean with a dollop of sweet potato that substituted for a candle and flame.

As a member of the ambassador animal program, Quilbert makes periodic appearances for Zoo Chats during the summer as well as at special events, including Summer Nights Concerts, which takes place on Friday and Saturday evenings through August 10.

Soon after Quilbert’s mom, Lucia, gave birth to him, it was evident that she was not going to provide him with the proper maternal care he needed. At that time, animal care and veterinary staff made the decision to intervene and hand-rear Quilbert.

During the past year, Quilbert’s appearance has changed quite a bit. At birth a baby porcupine, called a porcupette, has soft quills and a rusty-colored coat that helps it blend in with the environment. Quilbert’s adult coloring grew in over the course of about two months.

Quilbert’s birth in 2018 marked the first time a prehensile-tailed porcupine had been born at Brookfield Zoo.

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