A new male Porcupine has arrived at the Curraghs Wildlife Park as a companion to resident female Kate.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company assisted with transportation of Mwana, an African Crested Porcupine, from Cheshire.

In October, Porcupine father and son Quills and Prickles were moved to a collection in England. Sending them together ensured they had companionship as they settled into their new home, but left the park’s female on her own until seven-month-old Mwana arrived. 

The new arrival’s name means ‘son’ in Swahili and was chosen as a tribute to his father, who died a month before Mwana’s birth.

Kathleen Graham, General Manager of the Wildlife Park in Ballaugh, said: ‘When wildlife parks and zoos within the British and Irish Zoo and Aquaria Association (BIAZA) need to move offspring on there is a wanted and available list. When we added Prickles as available an estate in Henley, which has a zoological collection that is not open to the general public, said they would give him a home, but were looking for a companion, too, and they didn’t want to breed.

‘We sent dad with Prickles so he had immediate company, as it was a really nice place for them to go and although the zoo is not open to the general public it is a BIAZA member.

‘Reaseheath College had a single male available that needed to be moved on from his parents, so it has all worked out nicely. We are glad Kate is getting a new mate.’

Kathleen added: ‘Also on the boat at the same time as Mwana were six Mara, also known as Patagonian Cavy, a largish rodent that looks quite Hare-like. This is not a new species for the park, but this young group were all born this year at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

‘On the return journey to England were three peafowl going to Brent Lodge Park. We have had a bit of a breeding boom and our thousands of visitors will have seen Peafowl chicks all around the park, so we are happy that we have found a home for some of them.’

These are the latest animal transfers assisted by the Steam Packet Company as part of its ongoing support for the Wildlife Park and its participation in breeding and exchange programmes.

Kathleen concluded: ‘I’d like to thank the Steam Packet Company for its assistance with these latest transfers and for its ongoing support for our involvement in animal exchange programmes.’

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We were delighted to welcome on board Mwana, along with the Mara and Peafowl we transported. It is always a pleasure to assist the Wildlife Park, especially when it means there will be new residents for visitors to meet at the park.’