Binturongs are one of the world's rarest and most endangered animals, and Cotswold Wildlife Park has recently welcomed the arrival of a pair of baby binturong, the first twins to be born at the park.  

The park's breeding pair Dobby and Himala became proud parents just in time for World Binturong Day on May 14. Now in its eighth year, the day highlights the plight these relatively unknown mammals face in the wild. 

The twins are now fully exploring their indoor home, much to the delight of visitors, and both have now been named, with one carrying a special significance for one of the park's keepers. 

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Keeping with the tradition of naming cubs after fruits found in their native homeland of south-east Asia following the arrival of Coconut and Rambutan, one of the cubs has been named Fig, and the other one Rosie. 

Mammal keeper James explained: “My grandmother Rosie was always full of encouragement and endless enthusiasm for my love of animals, in particular lions, ever since I was young. As a child, my grandparents would take me to lots of different zoos and time at home would be spent watching animal programmes on TV. 

"When I started to work as a zookeeper, she would travel all over the country to visit me at work to see the animals in my care, including here at Cotswold Wildlife Park where she came to visit in 2019.

"She loved her day at the park. She was, as she would say, my “biggest fan”, so it felt right when thinking of a name for the binturong kits that one of them should be called Rosie in her honour”. 

Rosie was born shortly after James lost his beloved grandmother.

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James adds: “Both binturong kits have been an absolute delight to watch as they have grown – they’ve been endless fun. Fig and Rosie are pretty much inseparable and are always busy getting up to all kinds of mischief!

"Although both very cheeky, they have developed slightly different traits; Fig was a little bigger to start with and has always loved her food whereas Rosie can be a little bit more cautious at times but is never shy for too long.

"This is the first time that we have reared binturong twins here at the Park so to see them develop together has been very exciting for all of us with experienced parents Himala and Dobby taking it all in their stride”.