GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Two baby binturongs have joined the Greensboro Science Center family.
On Tuesday, the Greensboro Science Center announced that female Susan and male Mee-Noi had two bintlets on May 5.
The science center says the Association of Zoos and Aquariums had recommended that GSC encourage Susan and Mee-Noi to breed as part of the Species Survival Plan Program. These are the first bintlets born at the science center.
Guests will need to wait a little longer before they can see the new binturongs. The animal care team is hand-rearing the babies behind the scenes.
“Historically, binturong births have not been that common throughout AZA facilities and the population has been on a downward trend over the last 20 years,” says Jessica Hoffman, VP of Animal Care and Welfare. “Only a few pairs continued to be successful, so that makes this new pairing of Susan and Mee-noi especially exciting for us. This birth now marks the fifth one in the last year throughout AZA, helping to strengthen the sustainability of this much loved species,” Hoffman added.
What is a binturong?
Native to South and Southeast Asian rainforests, Binturongs, or Arctictis binturong, are sometimes called “bearcats,” even though they aren’t directly related to bears or cats. They’re a part of the Viverridae family, which includes civets and fossas
Binturongs are one of the only two carnivorous species that have a prehensile tail, meaning a tale that has adapted to grab and hold objects. But even though they’re considered carnivores, they mostly eat fruits and berries.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has binturongs listed as a vulnerable species, just one step above endangered.