Porcupines are the largest rodents in Southern Africa. Porcupines measure 63 to 81 centimetres long from the head to the base of the tail, with the tail adding a further 11–20 centimetres.
They are heavily built animals, with stocky bodies, short limbs, and an inconspicuous tail. The body is covered in long spines up to 5 centimetres in length, interspersed with thicker, sharply pointed, defence quills up to 3 centimetres long, and with bristly, blackish or brownish fur. The spines on the tail are hollow, and used to make a rattling sound to scare away predators. An erectile crest of long, bristly hairs runs from the top of the head down to the shoulders. The spines and quills cover the back and flanks of the animal, starting about a third of the way down the body, and continuing onto the tail.
In areas rich with lucern fields, Porcupines have been known to badly damage these crops/fields. Neighbouring farms to Aardvark Nature Reserve, set cages to capture these animals and send them to our property for tagging and release.
These animals are released in suitable areas on the reserve and tagged with different colours so that we may establish their patterns.