See New Arrivals: “Bearcats,” Okapi, and More

Donor Focus: The Ivanjack Family
January 1, 2018

Binturongs are also known as “bearcats” though they are not related to either bears or cats. Photo by Jamie Pham

Notable baby arrivals include the Zoo’s second recent okapi calf – a female – as well as a male southern gerenuk and two white-cheeked turaco chicks. Native to Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Sudan, white-cheeked turacos have the unusual ability to store copper compounds from the plants they eat as vibrant green and red pigments (turacin and turacoverdin) in their plumage.

The binturong pair that came from the Boise Zoo in November is now on view in the roundhouse between the hippo habitat and the Papiano Play Park. Binturongs are also known as “bearcats,” though they are related to neither bears nor cats. Their closest relatives are civets and they smell like fresh buttered popcorn. They are considered vulnerable in their native range of Southeast Asia.

Other recent arrivals include a male California condor in need of medical care and pair of spectacled owls that can now be seen in the South America section.