Small Mammal House keepers reported for duty Jan. 4 and discovered Beatrix had given birth overnight, the Smithsonian's National Zoo media website reported.
The porcupette - as baby porcupines are known, is seen with mom Beatrix is in all of the visuals released by the zoo. Dad Quillbur is in a different habitat, for now, to allow mom and porcupette to bond.
The now nearly three-week-old porcupette looks cosy with mom and is nursing well and gaining weight. The zoo team is looking forward to learning if the newborn will take after Beatrix, who is relaxed and easy-going, or be more active and curious like dad Quillbur.
These sharpy little beauties look anatomically similar until they reach 6 months of age. Smithsonian Zoo keepers sent quill samples to scientists at the Zoo's Center for Conservation Genomics for DNA analysis and hope to reveal their porcupette's sex and its name in a few weeks.