World's oldest captive Mexican porcupine dies in Duluth


Did you know that Duluth was home to the world's oldest captive Mexican porcupine?

Well it was until last week, when its 27-year-old resident Juanita passed away at Lake Superior Zoo after two weeks of deteriorating health, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

The International Species Information System listed her as the oldest of her species in a captive population, KDAL reports, and at 27 she outlived the life expectancy for porcupines in captivity by 7 years.

Maicie Sykes, the director of animal management at the zoo, told FOX21 that Juanita was born in Honduras in January 1987, and was almost 28 when she died on November 9.

"Having the oldest Mexican porcupine is a unique accomplishment for our zoo," she told the station.

But Juanita's bloodline lives on at the zoo through her offspring Colargita, who remains on display in the zoo's nocturnal building alongside her father, Raoul, the News Tribune notes.

The Mexican Hairy Porcupine

The Mexican hairy porcupine, also known as the hairy dwarf porcupine, is most likely to be found in the wild in the forests of Mexico and Panama, according to Saint Louis Zoo, and is an agile climber that can move quickly among the high trees.

They are nocturnal creatures, and predominantly snack on leaves, but they have been known to eat the occasional lizard in the wild.

They range from 20 to 32 inches, the Website of Everything reports, and like other porcupines have the typical quills that helps it defend itself.

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