RZSS Edinburgh Zoo are celebrating the birth of the first binturong cubs to be born in Scotland.
It is incredibly difficult to breed the quirky animals, which smell like popcorn and have the appearance of a small cat-like bear, so zoo staff have been delighted by the arrival of triplets. (photo: RZSS Edinburgh Zoo – Katie Paton)
Native to rainforests in Southeast Asia, binturongs are a member of the civet family, with their distinctive, popcorn scent coming from a chemical compound in their urine.
Alison MacLean, head carnivore keeper at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said: “We are very excited about the arrival of our cubs. These are the first binturong to be born in Scotland, so this is a real achievement.
“At first, we thought we had two little ones as our camera outside their den showed four eyes peeking out into the dark so we were very happy to discover we actually had triplets.
“The trio, born at the end of January, have recently started to emerge from their den, though only for small periods of time.
“The cubs are doing well, with their mum Poppy being very attentive,” said Alison.
“We are gradually introducing them to visitors to build up their confidence and they will soon venture outside more regularly during the daytime.”
Binturongs are classified as vulnerable in the wild, with their population having declined by around a third over the past 18 years.
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