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Atascadero Zoo celebrates new arrivals

Posted at 8:06 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 23:06:37-04

The Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero has some new additions.

The zoo announced Thursday that it has a new Prehensile-tailed Porcupine.

The porcupine just arrived in April and is out in the exhibit for the public.

“The Zoo has exhibited Prehensile-tailed porcupines for more than 17 years now and we have had several births here in the past. Baby porcupines are covered with fine, red colored hair when they are born but the quills start to develop in the first few days. Almost immediately after the baby porcupine is born, it can climb and move on its own. Prehensile-tailed porcupines use their tail for grasping and hanging. They are nocturnal and spend the days sleeping in the forest canopy and in the wild are found in Central and South America,” said Zoo Director Alan Baker.

Baby porcupine
Photo Courtesy: Atascadero Zoo


The zoo says a female Crested Screamer also recently joined the flock at the zoo. Its distinctive call is among the loudest of any bird.

The new bird came to the zoo from Louisiana as part of a breeding program. She is eight months old and has bonded with a male Crested Screamer who is a long-time zoo resident. Visitors can see the two birds at the Flamingo Habitat.

New bird
Photo Courtesy: Atascadero Zoo


The zoo also has a new female Binturong, also known as a Bearcat. The mammals, which originate from Southeast Asia, are not considered bears or cats. They’re related to a small forest predator. They’re very shy, but they’re known for smelling similarly to hot buttered popcorn.

The new Bearcat, named Bee, came from Virginia as part of another breeding program. She joins the zoo’s male Binturong named Johnson.

The zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features more than 200 animals.

New bearcat
Photo Courtesy: Atascadero Zoo