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Catching up with the bintlets

Hello from the Carnivore Department! The Zoo’s lions, tigers, and bears get a lot of attention for being big and pointy-toothed, but the exciting action in the carnivore area lately has been happening with our smaller, omnivorous animals – the binturongs!

If you’re a big enough Zoo Atlanta fan to be reading this blog, you probably already know that we had three binturongs born on August 31. Baby binturongs are called bintlets, so we’re off to an adorable start here! We recently named the bintlets Fern, Oliver, and Watson with the help of several thousand voters. Now that they are several months old, they are eating solid foods and growing more and more independent from their mother, Bramble. Don’t worry though: Bramble is still a vital part of their cuddling sessions, and the four of them can often be found snuggled up in a nest box together in the morning. 

As the bintlets have gotten older, they have also gotten bigger. They are still slightly too small to safely navigate their habitat, but in preparation for their debut outside, they have begun to get to know their father, Baloo. Baloo lives in the same building as Bramble and the bintlets, but has been in a separate area with a solid wall between them. The first step in the getting-to-know-you process has been meeting through a mesh panel. Bramble initially seemed not too pleased to have Baloo butting into her family time and greeted him with some aggressive vocalizations. Baloo, however, is the perfect gentleman, and he has done nothing but vocalize to her and the bintlets in a friendly manner. At first, Fern, Oliver, and Watson were a little frightened of Baloo and kept their distance, but they have quickly warmed up to him. Scent is an important part of binturongs exploring their environment, so the mesh allows them to see and smell each other. An arguably more important function of the mesh panel is how it allows for extra cuteness: When the bintlets put their noses on the mesh to smell Baloo, he gives them a little lick. We can’t wait to see the whole family together on habitat in the coming months!

Michelle E.
Senior Keeper, Mammals


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