BOSTON (WHDH) - A pair of prickly baby porcupines became the first of their species to be born at the Franklin Park Zoo earlier this month.

Penelope, a 4-year-old Cape porcupine, gave birth to two porcupettes on Oct. 6, the zoo announced. They each weighed just under a pound at birth.

Porcupettes are born with their eyes open and are up and moving immediately after birth. Their quills are soft at first but they harden quickly.

Franklin Park Zoo

“This is Penelope’s first litter, and she has been a wonderful mom. As with any birth, we are closely monitoring the mom and babies, and so far have been very encouraged by their progress. While it’s very difficult to determine the sex of porcupettes, we believe that we have one male and one female,” said Christine Bartos, Assistant Curator of Hooves and Horns at Franklin Park Zoo. “The female is the larger one, and as is typical for this species, she is feistier. She stomped her feet and rattled her little quills at us from the first day.”

The porcupettes are said to be bonding with their parents off and are not yet ready to make their exhibit debut.

Cape porcupines are nocturnal. They are exclusively terrestrial.

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