Baby animals

So cute it hurts! Prickly porcupette makes zoo debut

May 2, 2014 at 4:53 PM ET

porcupette
Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo
A baby porcupine, or porcupette, was born last month at the Woodland Park Zoo.

The Woodland Park Zoo is now home to an extremely adorable baby, but beware of getting too close to this cuteness — its awfully prickly.

The baby porcupine — which is called a porcupette — was born on April 4 to 3-year-old parents Molly and Oliver — she's their second child.

She currently resides in the porcupine exhibit in the zoo's Northern Trail area, but apparently has been enjoying spending her time behind the scenes in a den, for the most part.

porcupette
Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo
Trying out a snack.

"She grooms herself a lot and is experimenting with different solid foods, such as leafeter biscuits and different types of browse (plant materials)," zoo collection manager Deanna Ramirez said in a press release about the baby. 

"I think our visitors will begin seeing her more frequently on exhibit as she becomes more active and curious."

The female North American porcupine, known as a porcupette.
Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo
The porcupette takes a ride on the scale.

The blue-eyed baby has doubled her weight over the course of the past few weeks, and currently weighs just over two pounds, according to the zoo.

porcupette
Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo
Watch out for those quills!

While porcupines aren't prickly to the touch when they're born, their soft coat of quills hardens "within hours of birth," the zoo said, "immediately preparing them for protection from predators."

porcupette
Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo

The little critters love to climb, and start scaling trees pretty early on to find food, such as leaves, twigs and bark.

"She’s becoming quite adventurous and recently has begun exploring her outdoor exhibit," zoo representative Calleigh Robertson told TODAY.com. "We’re very happy she’s doing so well."

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