Banu the binturong. Credit: Helen Pinchin
It has been an exciting new year for Marwell Zoo as we have welcomed three new species to our park this January. The first was the binturong! Banu came to us from Rostock Zoo in Germany and the unusual animal has taken up residence in the old Fossa house. Our fossa, Fiana, has moved on to the Czech Republic because of a breeding recommendation.
Binturong's have cat-like faces and bear-like bodies, but most interestingly, they smell like freshly made popcorn – who would have known.
Just across the way from the binturong, five oriental small-clawed otters have also found a home here at Marwell. The siblings arrived just before Christmas from Chester Zoo, and their larger-than-life personalities have already charmed our guests.
We have had otters at Marwell before but the next new arrival is a first for the zoo. Coming from Chessington Zoo, two female blesboks have found a new home in ‘Heart of Africa’ alongside our buffalo and near to our giraffes.
Blesboks are native to South Africa and can be easily recognised by their striking white and brown face.
While we have had such an exciting time with new animals and species arriving at the zoo; we will soon have to say goodbye to our group of Sulawesi black macaques. They will be leaving the collection on 1 February and will be on their way to Tayto Park in Ireland. Plans for their island will be revealed in due course.