Birthdate: May 4, 2003

Birthplace: Found as an abandoned newborn by a rancher in a barn in West Texas, cord and placenta still attached.

His early life: Teddy arrived at Zooniversity with lots of medical problems (dehydration, peritonitis, anorexia, “failure to thrive,” you name it…) and required intensive human interaction, resulting in him being fully imprinted on humans. …

How’d Teddy get his start in the viral video world? It was all accidental. In May 2011, one of his keepers wanted to try-out a new video camera, so she recorded him eating an ear of corn and making noises and posted it on YouTube, “Teddy Bear the porcupine doesn’t like to share…” It sat unwatched for 6 months, until someone else found it and posted it on a viral site — it skyrocketed to more than 1 million views in a matter of days, with clips showing on all the major networks. It was a BIG surprise and the rest is viral history.

Why are Teddy’s videos so popular? People think his porcupine noises are his attempt at “talking” and they hear human words in his sounds, so viewers think he is speaking English, or Japanese, or Dutch – and teenagers around the world just thought he was saying naughty things.

Is he REALLY “talking”? That’s for you decide. All porcupines make some guteral noises when they’re happy or when they want to communicate something – Teddy is just more vocal than most. And, we agree, a lot of Teddy’s mumblings sound remarkably like human words. …

Why doesn’t he shoot his quills at you? It’s an old wives tale  that porcupines shoot their quills — they can’t. Teddy does have 35,000 barbed quills underneath all that soft, fluffy guard hair. The quills cover every part of his body, except his face, paws and belly. We don’t often get “quilled,” as we are not a threat to him and he doesn’t feel the need to ward us off. If he did feel threatened, Teddy would first flair his tail hair and show you his quills as a warning. If you didn’t heed his warning, he’d then spin like a top and whack you with his tail full of quills. Does it hurt? Yes…a lot.

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“Teddy Bear,” the porcupine, doesn’t like to share…


Uploaded on May 25, 2011

A talking porcupine! Zooniversity’s North American porcupine, “Teddy Bear,” gets a cob of corn for a treat — but, he doesn’t like to share. Listen carefully to see what he has to complain about!
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(video) Never knew how cute porcupines sound!