Friday 24 January 2020

Scotland’s first binturong cubs aren’t just cute, they also smell of hot buttered popcorn

They’re notoriously difficult to breed, but Edinburgh Zoo has announced the birth of triplets.

An adult binturong and its cub
An adult binturong and its cub

By Alistair Mason, Press Association

Chances are you’ve never heard of the binturong, but after watching this video you’ll want to see – and smell – more of them.

Edinburgh Zoo has announced the birth of three binturong triplets, the first time the animal has been successfully bred in Scotland, according to the zoo.

In a world full of cute baby animals battling for your attention, these guys, also known as bearcats, have a serious trump card – they smell like hot buttered popcorn.

That’s because the same chemical compound that gives the cinema snack its smell is also present in binturong 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.

Binturong triplets

“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.”

Binturongs are a member of the civet family and are, according to the zoo, notoriously difficult to breed.

They are classed as a vulnerable species.

PA Media

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