Zoo Atlanta invites 'bearcat' fans to name 2 of the first binturongs born at zoo

Courtesy of Zoo Atlanta

The first binturongs born at Zoo Atlanta are getting ready to explore their outdoor habitat, but before they do, they need names! The adorable "bintlets" were born on Aug. 31 to mother Bramble and dad Baloo. Out of the three siblings, one male has already been named Watson by the Animal Care and Veterinary Teams. Now, it's time for "bearcat" fans to vote on names for the other two.

Voting is now open and will continue until 11:59 p.m. EST Nov. 26. The winning names will be revealed on Thursday, November 30, 2023.

You can cast your vote in person by scanning the QR code at the binturong habitat at Complex Carnivores or online at zooatlanta.org

Despite the nickname "bearcats," binturongs aren't bears or cats. They are more closely related to civets. They have distinctive prehensile tails and are known for their unique scent, which is said to resemble buttered popcorn or corn chips.

Binturongs are native to southern and southeast Asia, and they are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their biggest threats include habitat loss due to agriculture, particularly for palm oil plantations, as well as the pet trade and hunting for their meat, considered a delicacy in some regions.

Palm oil, a common commodity found in many household products, is a significant contributor to habitat loss in southeast Asia. Zoo Atlanta is a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil™ (RSPO) and advocates for the use of sustainable palm oil to protect animal species and their habitats.

Join in the effort to name Zoo Atlanta's binturong babies and support sustainable palm oil practices to help protect these unique and vulnerable creatures.