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Two rare binturong have arrived in East Sussex Penh and Angkor took up residence on 5th August; since then they have been settling in well and getting into the swing of life at Drusillas Park.
Also known as bearcats (although not related to bears or cats) this species is not often seen in zoos. In the wild binturong live in the tropical rainforests of south-east Asia, where they are regarded as threatened mainly due to habitat destruction and hunting.
They have been moved there from the Rare Species Conservation Centre in Sandwich.
These fascinating creatures are about the size of a large dog and females are generally bigger than males. They are very agile animals, with long prehensile tails which they use as an extra limb.
Binturong eat a varied diet which includes insects, fish, small birds, mammals, eggs, fruit, leaves and plant shoots. They scent mark their territory by dragging their tail on branches as they climb and the smell is often compared to that of warm popcorn or cornbread!
The new arrivals so far they have been very well received, causing quite a stir amongst staff and visitors alike.
Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate commented:
“We are delighted with the new arrivals. They have been very popular with our visitors who are astonished at how big binturong are; on the first day they arrived here our visitors were even queuing up to see them.”