News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,

July 2, 2019


First Birthday Celebrated for Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine at Brookfield Zoo on World Porcupine Day

Brookfield, Ill. – Since his birth on July 2, 2018, Quilbert, a prehensile-tailed porcupine at Brookfield Zoo, has become a popular member of the zoo’s ambassador animal program. To commemorate his first birthday today—which also happens to be World Porcupine Day—staff and zoo guests joined in a celebration for Quilbert at the Hamill Family Wild Encounters.

After a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday to You,” animal care staff presented Quilbert with a nutritious layered cake made of biscuits, sweet potato, peanut butter, jelly, butternut squash, cucumbers, carrots, and zucchini. Topping the cake was a green bean with a dollop of sweet potato that substituted for a candle and flame.

As a member of the ambassador animal program, Quilbert makes periodic appearances for Zoo Chats during the summer as well as at special events, including Summer Nights Concerts, which takes place on Friday and Saturday evenings through August 10.

Soon after Quilbert’s mom, Lucia, gave birth to him, it was evident that she was not going to provide him with the proper maternal care he needed. At that time, animal care and veterinary staff made the decision to intervene and hand-rear Quilbert.

During the past year, Quilbert’s appearance has changed quite a bit. At birth a baby porcupine, called a porcupette, has soft quills and a rusty-colored coat that helps it blend in with the environment. Quilbert’s adult coloring grew in over the course of about two months.

Quilbert’s birth in 2018 marked the first time a prehensile-tailed porcupine had been born at Brookfield Zoo.

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About the Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The

Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit

Photo Captions—credit Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

1075, 1090, 1149: Quilbert, a prehensile-tailed porcupine celebrates his first birthday at Brookfield Zoo. He was presented with a nutritious cake made of  biscuits, sweet potato, peanut butter, jelly, butternut squash, cucumbers, carrots, and zucchini. Topping the cake was a green bean with a dollop of sweet potato that substituted for a candle and flame.

1057 and 1146: Animal care staff at Brookfield Zoo lead a birthday celebration for Quilbert, a prehensile-tailed porcupine who turned 1 year old today.

1128: Young guests at Brookfield Zoo watch Quilbert, a prehensile-tailed porcupine, enjoy his nutritious cake in celebration of his first birthday.

Quilbert side by side: Quilbert at 8 days old (left) and at 1 year old.


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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