Percy pines for Cupid’s arrow to strike this Valentine’s
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
VALENTINE’S Day can be a lonely time of year for even the most headstrong bachelor in the country, so imagine how poor Percy the porcupine is feeling as he longs for a mate to keep him company.
The 19-month-old prickly creature has had enough of life on the shelf and is looking for his soulmate for long (slow and cumbersome) strolls in the Zoo, night-time nuzzles and romantic dinners, feasting on gourmet meals of leaves, herbs and twigs.
Percy, an Indian crested porcupine, has been living at Tropical Wings Zoo in South Woodham Ferrers, Essex since November 2011 and has grown extremely fond of his keeper Chloe Roche – however Chloe feels now is the time for Percy to spread his needles and find a fellow porcupine to love.
Chloe, who has had a place in Percy’s heart since she first started looking after him, said: “I don’t like to show favouritism but Percy is definitely my number one boy at the zoo. He’s so loveable and cute – and he definitely doesn’t live up to the prickly persona of wild porcupines. I’ll certainly miss his cuddles when he has another girlfriend to snuggle up to but I think it’s time for him to find someone of his own kind!”
Tropical Wings manager John Ray said: “Percy is an adorable porcupine – he’s so friendly and tame and loves to cuddle up to his keeper Chloe but I think he’s starting to long for another prickly mate to spend his days and nights with.
“He’s been single for a long time now and it’s never easy at this time of year but I really hope we can find him love soon – he’s a handsome fellow and I’m sure there’s a lovely porcupine female out there who would be perfect for him. He’s ready to settle down and have a family of his own now.”
But John said the path to true and long-lasting love may not be easy for poor Percy.
He added: “The search for love might be a long one for Percy as there are very few of his species in the country and he has to find a mate who is not related to him, and who is of a similar age.”
Porcupines of Percy’s species are most commonly found in Asia, in areas such as India, Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia so the search is on to find the perfect partner a bit closer to home.
Can you help Chloe and Rona in their quest to find Percy’s soulmate? They’re looking for ideas and suggestions on what to do next for their lonely friend. Do you know where they can find a female porcupine to keep him company or have any ideas on how they can bring one over from its native Asia?
You can contact John or Chloe at Tropical Wings by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01245 425 394.
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NOTES TO EDITOR:
Tropical Wings Zoo is based in South Woodham Ferrers, south of Chelsmford in Essex. It is home to a variety of tropical and exotic animals including meerkats, Siberian chipmunks, ring-railed lemurs, koi carp fish and red footed tortoises. It is also home to one of the UK’s finest butterfly houses. It is open all year round. Visitors can get up close and personal with some of the Zoo’s most popular animals and educations tours are offered for groups and schools.
Indian crested porcupines can grow up to 90cm in length and weigh up to 18kg. Females can give birth to litters of 2-4 young, twice a year. Their little babies are born with soft quills and open eyes, ready to see the world.