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San Diego Zoo celebrates Earth Day with giant 2-story tall porcupine puppet

CBS 8 got a sneak peek of Percy, the giant prehensile-tailed porcupine puppet, on Thursday at the San Diego Zoo.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — For the first time, Percy -- a colossal two-story tall porcupine puppet created by Jim Henson Creature Shop -- will visit the San Diego Zoo Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 22, 2022. 

Organizers said Zoo guests are invited to celebrate Earth Day with Percy, chat with crowd favorite Dr. Zoolittle and take selfies with fun costume characters. 

"Percy is an awe-inspiring representation of the wildlife we're celebrating this Earth Day," said Public Relations Representative, Emily Senninger.

At Wildlife Explorers Basecamp, Zoo organizers said guests can feel what it's like to be wild as they come face-to-face with some of the most incredible species on Earth.

CBS 8 got a sneak peek of Percy, the giant prehensile-tailed porcupine puppet, on Thursday at the San Diego Zoo. Percy will make her San Diego Zoo debut in honor of Earth Day on Friday.

Percy the puppet was inspired by Icana, a real-life prehensile-tailed porcupine at the Zoo. Icana can be found in her two-story rainforest canopy habitat in Basecamp, along with many other amazing animals.

Here is some information about the prehensile-tailed porcupine:

  • Prehensile-tailed porcupines live in the South American forests up to 8,000 feet in elevation.
  • They are arboreal, meaning they live in trees. They have long, curved claws that help them climb and a prehensile tail that grasps branches for balance.
  • Like many nocturnal animals, the prehensile-tailed porcupine has poor eyesight but keen hearing, smell and touch.
  • Prehensile-tailed porcupines are covered in short, thick spines may raise when threatened. They can’t shoot their spines — that’s a myth! — but their spines release easily and can become imbedded in the skin of a predator.
  • The gestation period for a prehensile-tailed porcupine is more than 200 days. They give birth to a single young, which is born with its eyes open and can already climb.
  • Prehensile-tailed porcupines are not threatened or endangered, but do face habitat loss and are sometimes killed by hunters.

For more information, click here.

WATCH RELATED: Check out Percy the porcupine at the San Diego Zoo on Earth Day, April 22, 2022.

WORLD'S LARGEST PUPPET: Check out Percy the porcupine. The San Diego Zoo says this is the world's largest puppet.

Posted by CBS 8 San Diego on Wednesday, March 2, 2022