The Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley on Friday announced the birth of an African Cape porcupine.

Cape porcupines are native to the dry woodland areas of South Africa, and are endearing favorites among zoo visitors, Niabi director Lee Jackson said in a release.

Beni and Togo, two new Red River hogs at Niabi Zoo, Coal Valley.

The baby (known as a porcupette) was born on Jan. 7th to the zoo’s 11-year-old male Charles and 4-year-old female Milele. “Both mom and dad have proven to be excellent parents and keep a close watchful eye over their new youngster, who is already starting to take solid food,” the release said.

“Our Cape porcupines are part of a multi-zoo cooperative breeding program,” Jackson said. “This is the first time Cape porcupines have been bred at Niabi, and we are excited to be able to make a significant contribution to the program. We look forward to continued success with this species.”

Mama Milele and her unnamed porcupette at Niabi Zoo.

There are 112 institutions involved in the Cape porcupine captive management program with over 500 individual animals involved. For more information on Niabi, visit the zoo website HERE.