Meet Oliver Wolf! Baby Binturong is newest inhabitant of Staten Island Zoo
Oliver Wolf, a seven-week-old Binturong, can be seen at the nursery at the Staten Island Zoo, West Brighton. (Photos courtesy of the Staten Island Zoo, via Instagram)
The most interesting fact about Oliver Wolf may be his distinctive smell -- that of buttered popcorn -- which emanates from an oil gland under his tail.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - What's seven weeks old, weighs three-and-a-half pounds and smells like a container of buttered popcorn?
The answer is the baby Binturong who's become the newest inhabitant of the Staten Island Zoo in West Brighton.
The black, furry critter -- a male named Oliver Wolf -- is currently on display for the public in the Zoo's nursery.
Born at a private zoo in Las Vegas on July 15, the Binturong will eventually be headed to the Zoo's rainforest wing -- but he's got a little growing to do first. Binturongs -- also known as bearcats -- reach 50 pounds at maturity.
They're found in South and Southeast Asia and are identifiable by a prehensile tail which is as long as its body. They are carnivores, but mostly eat fruit, sleep during the day, love to bask in the sun and are related to civets and fossas.
But the most interesting fact about Oliver Wolf may be the distinctive smell -- that of buttered popcorn -- which emanates from an oil gland under his tail.
In the wild, the purpose of the scent is to let other Binturongs know they are trespassing on someone else's territory.
The Staten Island Zoo participates in the International Special Survival Program, which hopes to add to the breeding population of threatened and endangered species. After an estimated 30 percent population decline the last three decades, Binturongs have been listed as vulnerable.