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Voting begins today to choose monikers for two of the three binturongs born to Bramble on August 31

ATLANTA – November 7, 2023 – They’re not yet large enough to navigate their outdoor habitat just yet, but the first binturongs born at Zoo Atlanta need names as they prepare for that milestone. “Bearcat” fans near and far are invited to vote on the names for two of the three binturongs born on August 31, 2023.

The first offspring of mother Bramble and dad Baloo, the little binturongs – known as “bintlets” – continue to grow and cause mischief behind the scenes. One of the three, a male, is ahead of his brother and sister in that he already has a name: Watson, named by the Animal Care and Veterinary Teams. All three siblings are now with their mother and in addition to nursing, are eating solid foods.

Voting begins Tuesday, November 7, 2023, to select from sets of names supplied by the Zoo’s Carnivore Care Team. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, November 26, 2023, and the winning names will be announced on Thursday, November 30, 2023.

Guests may access voting by scanning the QR code at the binturong habitat at Complex Carnivores or by voting online via Learn more or cast your vote here.

Despite the nickname “bearcats,” binturongs are neither bears nor cats but are instead most closely related to civets. The species is one of only two members of the order Carnivora to feature a prehensile tail. Also distinctive is their scent, which is said to resemble buttered popcorn or corn chips.

Native to southern and southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and parts of China, binturongs are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their most pressing threat is habitat loss for conversion to agriculture, especially for palm oil plantations. Other threats include the pet trade and hunting for their meat, which is considered a delicacy in some parts of their range.

Processed from the fruit of the African oil palm tree and harvested worldwide in warm and temperate climates, palm oil is one of the planet’s most commonplace commodities. It is found in over half of all household products, from foods and beverages to toothpaste, shampoo, and pet food. Some of the planet’s most concentrated regions of palm oil production are in southeast Asia, and these unsustainable activities are resulting in dramatic population declines for numerous animal species.

Zoo Atlanta is one of only a small number of zoos to pursue and attain membership in the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil™ (RSPO). The Zoo and many other accredited zoos are vocal advocates for encouraging the use of only sustainable palm oil, supporting only companies who use sustainably produced oil and celebrating those who make the switch, and raising public awareness of the necessity for informed shopping.

Stay tuned for updates on when Members and guests will be able to see the bintlets.


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