Dartmoor Zoo has welcomed a new binturong to the DZS family. Not yet named, he’s happy, healthy, and settling into his new home nicely. The binturong was transported to Dartmoor Zoo on Wednesday 5th July from ‘Get to know animals’ at Epping, Essex, London.
Dartmoor Zoo’s Curator Scott commented:
“Binturongs also known as the Bearcat, Malay Civet Cat and are members of Viverridae, they are most closely related to Civets, Genets, and Fossa.
Predominantly found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Philipines, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and some areas of China, the IUCN classifies them as Vulnerable due to the illegal pet trade, deforestation, poaching for furs and being captured to make civet coffee. Unfortunately, binturongs are also captured and eaten in Laos as it is considered a delicacy.
Our binturong is a Palawan binturong from the island of Palawan in the Philippines and is a very unique subspecies that has been isolated for a while. They are smaller and more nocturnal than other subspecies and much rarer in captivity. There is a huge illegal wildlife trade problem in Palawan where many animals including binturongs are taken from the wild and then sold. Unfortunately, the punishments for this are negligent and do not deter the offenders from repeating the offense.
Our binturong was imported from Asia legally by an unknown source but most likely was taken from the wild due to the issues on Palawan, before leaving the private individual and finding a home at ‘Get to know animals’ where they gave him amazing treatment and helped settle him in and bring him out of his shell.”
Our binturong is a magnificent animal, a symbol of the diversity and beauty of our natural world. But this incredible animal has suffered greatly at the hands of those who did not understand the importance of protecting and respecting all living beings. For far too long, he endured neglect and abuse, living a life of fear and pain.
Here at Dartmoor Zoo, we are incredibly honoured to be able to give him this new lease of life and feel he deserves a new name to reflect this and that’s where you come in!
The keepers have shortlisted five names and with a minimum £1 donation you can pick your favourite. The name with the most votes will be announced on Facebook, with the bonus of one lucky donor who will win a family pass to Dartmoor Zoo, where they can see the binturong in person! The five names are:
- Mee-Noi which means little bear in Thai
- Malu which means shy in Indonesian
- Bao which means treasure in Vietnamese
- Mahina which means vulnerable in Filipino
- Irawan which is a river in Palawan
To pick your winner and give our binturong a new name for his new life, you can make your charitable donation here.