So this prickly, little guy is Gonzo, our prehensile-tailed porcupine! He is native to South America and lives up in the thick tree cover of the rain forest. He has feet that are perfectly adapted to hold on to tree branches so he can easily move throughout the trees.
In the picture however, you can see that Gonzo has found another great use for his hands. He is able to hold onto his food while he eats it just like us. This is very useful for an animal living up in the trees. Drop that food and you’ve got a long climb down to get it!
Enrichment is an important part of any animal’s life. Since Gonzo doesn’t get a lot of fruits in his normal diet here due to the high sugar content, we give them to him in small proportions. So when he does get fruit it is usually the first thing he eats. It would be like us making sure we ate our dessert before dinner if we didn’t get dessert too often. And to make this dessert even better for Gonzo, that strawberry is covered in peanut butter!
As you can imagine, this was a very successful form of enrichment for our quill covered friend! Check out the full video below: