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Endangered mammal hand reared in Wolverhampton

Also known as the Bearcat, the Asian Bearcat and the Asian Civet. Credit: ITV News Central

A biology student from Wolverhampton is looking after the only hand reared palawan binturong in the UK.

The mammal, an endangered species from South-East Asia, is being cared for by 21-year-old Zac Hollinshead, who has moved in to a new home near Wolverhampton and brought dozens of animals with him. These include snakes, reptiles, birds of prey and small animals such as a mercat.

Baloo – named after the character from the Jungle Book, is one of only 10 palawan binturongs in the country.

The Binturong is a large, heavy animal that can grow to more than a meter long, with females being up to 20% bigger and heavier than their male counterparts.

They belong to the same family as other small carnivores including Civets, Genets, Mongooses and Fossa. Credit: ITV News Central


New lemur attraction opens at Twycross Zoo

Credit: Twycross Zoo

Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire, has unveiled a new attraction which allows visitors to walk alongside lemurs.

The walk-through enclosure has already been buit and the primates are getting used to their new home.

Sharon Redrobe, Zoological Director, said, “our new lemur walk-through is a great addition to the Zoo’s collection of exhibits, but most importantly it will enable us to teach the public of the plight of Madagascar and these endangered primates."

Twycross home to one of the oldest spider monkeys in Europe

Spider monkeys are New World Monkeys, meaning they come from South America. Credit: Twycross Zoo

A critically endangered variegated spider monkey, named ‘Lady Lulu’ by her keepers, is one of the oldest of its kind in captivity in Europe, and holds the crown for being the oldest in the UK.

Lady Lulu is 39-years old, and considered in very good health for her age.

Variegated spider monkeys are known to live until 27-years of age in the wild and up to 40-years of age in captivity.

Spider monkeys mostly eat in the morning. Their diet is made up from fruit, nuts, seeds and flowers. Credit: Twycross Zoo

Variegated spider monkeys are classified critically endangered in the wild on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Redlist of Threatened Species, and in 2012 they were listed as one of the worlds 25 most endangered primates.

The wild population has declined by 80 per cent over the past four decades due to habitat loss from human encroachment and hunting.

Spider monkeys get their names from their very long arms and legs and the fact that they use their tails to hang upside down.