Common Name

Cape porcupine

Afrikaanse naam




Scientific Name

Hystrix africaeaustralis
Cape porcupine.


Large rodent weighing 12-15kg and 84-86cm in length. Upper parts of body covered in long black and white spines and sharp - stout quills. A long crest of black and white bristly hair runs from the top of the head to the shoulders and the tail is armed with a 'rattle' of hollow - open-ended quills. Rest of body covered in coarse black hair. The short sturdy legs have strong digging claws. Nocturnal - solitary or in pairs - and resting in caves or holes in the ground. When threatened it rattles its tail - raises its quills and backs into its adversary. It feeds on bulbs - tubers - roots - wild fruit and bark. Will also chew on bones.