Drusillas staff hope binturong pair will breed

One of the binturong at Drusillas
One of the binturong at Drusillas

THE festive season has seen love in the air at Drusillas as zoo keepers provided binturong Pehn and Angkor with a purpose-built nest box in an effort to encourage breeding.

Pehn and Angkor, two of the park’s newest residents, arrived at the zoo in Alfriston in August from the Rare Species Conservation Centre in Sandwich and have settled in well and proved a popular addition with visitors. Also known as bear cats - although not related to bears or cats - binturong are not often seen inanimal parks.

In the wild, they live in the tropical rainforests of south-east Asia, where they are regarded as threatened mainly due to habitat destruction and hunting.

Drusillas park’s zoo manager Sue Woodgate said, “In order to give the two a gentle nudge in the right direction, we have placed an elevated nest box within the indoor area of their enclosure.

“The structure consists of a large wooden box with a raised lip at the front, in order to keep any babies safely sheltered within.”

“So far their behaviour has been extremely encouraging with female Angkor spending a great deal of time within the box. Slightly larger than Pehn, she has also become more territorial, guarding the nest from any unwanted interest.”