Baby Porcupine Makes Debut at Disney World's Animal Kingdom While Park Is Closed

This newborn rodent is anything but prickly — at least for the near future!

At Walt Disney World‘s Animal Kingdom, the porcupette was born on Tuesday, Feb. 25, to mom Peri, who appears in the documentary One Day at Disney having an ultrasound performed on her by a veterinarian. The baby prehensile-tailed porcupine has not yet been named.

“After a long-awaited arrival, the team is delighted to welcome this cutie to the Disney family,” Dr. Mark Penning, vice president of animals, science, and environment at Disney Parks, wrote in a Disney Parks Blog post on Tuesday.

Penning noted that, though the Florida theme park is currently closed due to coronavirus concerns, an animal care team is still present to “provide top-notch care” for the newborn and other wildlife.

Covered in a red fur coat, the porcupette isn’t so prickly just yet; her quills begin to harden over time. The team of animal experts was even able to determine the sex of the baby by DNA-testing her quills.

“Coming to this conclusion required science and more than just a neonatal exam from the veterinary team,” wrote Penning. “Prehensile-tailed porcupines have internal sex organs, so to determine the baby’s gender, the team actually had to send some of her tiny quills off to a lab for DNA testing.”

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On the opposite coast, Disneyland spread its magic to its neighboring Californian communities by donating food that would otherwise go to waste during the park’s extended closure due to COVID-19.

The park made the announcement earlier this month, with donations going to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, as part of the company’s “ongoing commitment to reducing food waste.”

“While closely following food safety guidelines, excess inventory of dairy, fruit, vegetables, packaged goods and banquet meals is being donated to Second Harvest Food Bank, whose mission is to end hunger in Orange County,” said Kyleigh Johnson, external communications manager for Disneyland, in a Disney Parks Blog post.

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