Rare endangered twin binturongs born at the Cotswold Wildlife Park
A PLAYFUL pair of endangered Asian cat-like mammals called binturongs delight visitors to the Cotswold Wildlife Park with their acrobatics.
Twins Fig and Rosie are the cubs of Burford Zoo breeding pair Dobby and Himala, who were introduced to each other in 2018.
At the end of 2021, caregivers suspected Himala of being pregnant and after three months, she gave birth to twins, born in isolation in a nest box where they spent several weeks out of sight.
They finally emerged and began to explore their heated inner home under the watchful eye of their parents.
The female ‘kits’ have now begun to venture into the exhibition’s outdoor space where visitors have been amazed by their acrobatic prowess.
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In keeping with the tradition of naming cubs after fruits found in their native Southeast Asian homeland, a cub was named Fig after their favorite food.
However, the other was named after mammal keeper James’ late grandmother.
He explained: “When I first started working as a zookeeper she would travel all over the country visiting me at work to see the animals I looked after, including here at the Cotswold Wildlife Park where she came visit in 2019 and we had a photo taken.
“She loved her day at the park. She was, as she would say, my biggest fan, so it seemed to me just thinking of a name for the binturong kits that one of them should be called Rosie in her honor”.
James added: “Both binturong kits have been an absolute delight to watch as they’ve grown, they’ve been endless fun. Fig and Rosie are pretty much inseparable and are always busy doing all kinds of mischief.
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“While both very cheeky, they developed slightly different traits. Fig was a little bigger to start with and always liked her food whereas Rosie can be a little more cautious at times but is never shy for too long.
“This is our first time raising binturong twins here at the park, so seeing them develop together has been very exciting for all of us, with experienced parents Himala and Dobby taking it all at their own pace.”
The birth preceded last Saturday’s World Binturong Day, a global event aimed at raising awareness of this rare and endangered mammal.