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Spring babies arrive at the Charles Paddock Zoo 

Baby female Red Flanked Duiker

–Charles Paddock Zoo staff are very proud to announce the recent arrivals of a baby Prehensile-tailed Porcupine and a baby female Red Flanked Duiker. Both of the new babies were born at the zoo in recent months and can now be seen and enjoyed by zoo visitors. These species are both included as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA’s) Managed Breeding Program, with the goal of helping to save animals from extinction.

Zoo Director Alan Baker said, “the Charles Paddock Zoo has exhibited Prehensile-tailed porcupines (Coendou prehensilis) for more than 18 years. We have had several births here in the past and this is the third born for our current mating pair. The porcupine father, ‘Ringo’ was born in 2002 and the mother, ‘Marina’ was born in 2011.” Marina gave birth to a healthy baby girl on Feb. 1.

Baby Prehensile-tailed Porcupine

Baby porcupines are covered with fine, red colored hair when they are born; the quills start to develop and harden up in the first few days. Almost immediately after the baby porcupine is born, it can climb and move on its own. These porcupines are found in South American forests and are excellent climbers, spending the majority of their time in trees. They are nocturnal, typically sleeping during the day in the upper canopy of trees. The three Prehensile-Tailed Porcupines at the zoo spend the majority of the day curled up on one of the branches sleeping, but visitors are still able to see them.

The Charles Paddock Zoo is also very proud of the birth of a female Red Flanked Duiker. The duiker calf was born January 27th to mom “Ruby” and dad “Spud.” Red-Flanked Duikers are a small antelope species native to west and central Africa. Their population is in rapid decline due to hunting for meat and trophy. Due to the delicate nature of these animals and their calves, zoo staff is allowing these animals to decide on their own whether to be on or off exhibit, so visitors may not be able to see the baby on their first try.

Come see the new zoo babies at the Spring Festival, which runs through April 8th. This annual springtime celebration welcomes everyone’s favorite springtime backyard babies, and this year includes the zoo’s two new arrivals and the new Bug Zone. The Spring Festival is included with a standard zoo admission ticket. Regular admission prices are $7 for ages 12 and over; $5 for children ages 3 to 11; Seniors 65 and over for $6; and children under the age of 2 are free.

The zoo is currently open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but beginning April 1, the hours extend daily to 5 p.m.

The Charles Paddock Zoo is located at Atascadero Lake Park on Highway 41/Morro Road, one mile west of Highway 101. Over 200 animals call the Charles Paddock Zoo home, including red pandas, monkeys, meerkats, parrots, a Malayan Tiger, a variety of reptiles and more. For more information about the zoo, visit or call (805) 461-5080.

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