AUSTIN (KXAN) — New residents moved into the Austin Nature and Science Center, and the community will get to meet them firsthand on Sunday.
Those new residents are baby porcupines. The center decided to bring them on as part of upgrades to the Small Wonders Exhibit.
Officials with the science center said one of the porcupines is a six-pound male who was born in May of this year. He doesn’t have a name yet.
Texas Parks and Wildlife said porcupines are typically found in the western part of the state, including the Panhandle and parts of the Hill Country. However, in December 2021, the department said the animal appears to be expanding its range eastward.
TPWD biologists said at the time they didn’t know exactly why it’s happening, but it could be due to changing habitats, or the species is adapting to more eastern habitats.
If you see a porcupine in your area, you can log it and upload photos on the iNaturalist website. According to the map, the most recent porcupine sighting was reported Monday in the San Angelo area. Another was reported in Burnet County Friday, and a south Austin sighting was recorded Sept. 4.
Sunday is Austin Museum Day. That’s when you can see the center’s porcupines for yourself for free.
On Austin Museum Day, you can visit dozens of museums in the city with no charge, including the Austin History Center, the Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Mexic-Arte Museum, among other establishments.
The Nature and Science Center is located at 2389 Stratford Dr.