Adelaide Zoo is celebrating World Binturong Day with a tasty treat and a campaign to rename the species to Bintu-right!
“Five-year-old Jakarta is quite a character,” said Senior Keeper Arliah Hayward, “He can be a bit elusive but he does love to sit in the sun and sometimes hang by his prehensile tail. We expect that he’s pretty lively at night that’s why we thought it would be good to film him overnight and see what he gets up to.
“Binturongs emit a smell like popcorn and you’ll often get a waft when you are looking at Jakarta. We thought people could engage with World Binturong Day by tucking into popcorn – we’ll be selling some in the shop for zoo-goers over the weekend,” finished Arliah.
Binturongs hail from South and South-east Asia where their population has declined by more than 30% over the last 18 years. In fact, the IUCN estimates that the species is vulnerable to extinction with a real threat of extinction in certain range countries.
Habitat loss and degradation are major threats to the Binturong as is hunting for its meat, use in traditional medicines and the illegal pet trade.
Described as looking like a ‘bearcat’, the Binturong is actually a member of Viverridae family (the same as civets and genets). With a thick tail, shaggy black-grey fur and huge whiskers Jakarta is a striking figure as he snacks on his breakfast of ‘mash’ and tucks into his favourite bananas and grapes.
Binturongs emit a buttery popcorn smell to mark their territory and to attract females. A fan of the warmth, Jakarta or ‘Jak Jak’ as his keepers fondly call him, often spends a sunny late afternoon on his perch at the front of his exhibit.
Do the Bintu-right thing this weekend and visit Jakarta at Adelaide Zoo!
To celebrate its 140th birthday kids can go free to Adelaide Zoo. Children aged up to 14 can enjoy free entry with one paying adult (terms and conditions apply).
Anyone who is called ‘mum’ can visit on Sunday and receive a free candle from the Australian Native Food Co (while stocks last). Popcorn is on sale in the zoo shop.
For more information, visit www.adelaidezoo.com.au.