Don’t be put off by Fofo’s prickly appearance! As his name implies, our 8-week-old prehensile-tailed porcupette is as “cute” as can be! Get to know Fofo in this Q+A with Small Mammal House keepers Maria Montgomery and Mimi Nowlin.
What is Fofo’s personality like?
Fofo’s personality is just like his name, which means “cute” in Portuguese! He seems to take after his mother, Beatrix. He is calm, gentle and good-natured, and she is super laid-back. They have very compatible personalities.
Prehensile-tailed porcupines are nocturnal, so they are most active at night. Most days, visitors will see Fofo sleeping on a piece of perching right next to Beatrix. He sometimes ventures out and sleeps on a branch just below her!
What do you enjoy most about working with Fofo?
Fofo is the fourth generation of prehensile-tailed porcupines born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. It’s wonderful to be a part of a breeding program that is helping the North American population thrive. We have contributed many offspring to the Species Survival Plan over the years.
Taking care of porcupettes is always a fun—and adorable—opportunity for us as keepers! Fofo doesn’t seem to mind interacting with keepers during the day whenever we bring them food, clean or place enrichment items in their habitat. He is also very relaxed when being handled.