Posted: 12 June 2023

New family arrivals for Henning the porcupine

A porcupine bred at Reaseheath’s Mini Zoo in Nantwich has fathered two adorable newborns which have just gone on display at London Zoo.

Henning, a Cape Crested porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis), was born at Reaseheath in April 2014 to one of the three females in our collection at that time.

Remembered by keepers as being an independent and somewhat grumpy porcupette, he grew into a handsome male and was selected for an international captive breeding programme which took him first to Chester Zoo and later to London Zoo.

Henning’s latest offspring are male Hector and female Hinnata, who were born to mum Hettie on January 14. The newborns spent their early weeks snuggling up with Hettie in their cosy indoor den and are already well developed and starting to explore their surroundings. They are also bonding well with their family, which includes young porcupines Hershey and Henry.

Cape porcupines are Africa’s second largest rodent and are native to central and southern Africa. A nocturnal species, they are facing an increasing threat from habitat destruction and hunting.

Reaseheath Zoo and Zoo Education Manager Hannah Stone said: “It is great news that a Reaseheath bred animal is playing such an important role in helping to ensure the porcupine zoo population remains healthy. By increasing the gene pool, Henning is an excellent example of how captive bred animals can support our efforts to create a better future for vulnerable species.”

Reaseheath’s Mini Zoo is open to the public during most weekends and school holidays 10am-4pm daily. Special events this half term (February 18 -26) include ‘Kids for a quid’ – children get in for £1 with a paying adult – and keeper talks. Two new rock hyrax will be on show.

The zoo is also open during Reaseheath’s popular Lambing Weekends on March 4 & 5 and March 11 & 12.

Photos below show Henning at Reaseheath Mini Zoo in 2014, shortly after he was born.

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