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Trio of baby bintlets at Panaewa Rainforest Zoo

 

One of the three baby binturongs, or bearcats, born last month at Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens. (Photo courtesy of County of Hawaii)

One of the three baby binturongs, or bearcats, born last month at Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens. (Photo courtesy of County of Hawaii)

Karin Stanton/Hawaii247.com Contributing Editor

Baby shower for Lucille and Ricky Ricardo!

The Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens’ resident binturongs have a new brood.

On Feb. 10, the animals awoke to the sound of “yelps” and “squeaks” from the habitat enclosure of Lucille and Ricky Ricardo.

Zoo staff discovered three bintlets in Lucille’s nest box that cold, damp morning in February and are happy to report that Lucille is doing a great job in raising her young. The bintlets are strong and healthy and are now beginning to move about the nest box. 

“They’re dong fine,” said zoo manager Pam Mizuno. “The mother does everything for them. Sometimes the father can’t stay in the same enclosure, but Ricky is able to stay with them. Lucille makes sure he doesn’t get too close.”

Binturongs, also known as Bearcats, are native to Southeast Asia, Malaysia and Indonesia. They are related to mongoose, but are nocturnal and arboreal, spending much of their days curled up on tree branches and basking in the sun while being active and feeding at night. Their natural diet consists of fruits, vegetables, eggs and moving prey such as rodents.   

Adults can grow to 40-45 pounds, while the bintlets arrive weighing just under 1 pound.

“They’re like a medium size puppy,” Mizuno said.

Lucille and Ricky became permanent residents at the Hilo zoo in 2006 and 2003, respectively.  

The bintlets are cozy in their nest and likely will begin to explore their rainforest habitat enclosure in a few weeks, Mizuno said.

— Find out more:

Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens: www.hilozoo.com

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