Most people have never heard of a Binturong, but you can have an “animal encounter” with one at Wild Wonders on May 19, World Endangered Species Day. Also called a “bearcat,” it is a native of Southeast Asia, and listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN’s Red List of endangered species.
At this event at Wild Wonders in Bonsall, several of their animal ambassadors will be featured including fennec foxes and kinkajous (also known as “honey bears.”)
Probably more widely known for their two magnificent cheetahs, Victor and Masika, Wild Wonders is home to over 100 animal ambassadors that are a part of their “hands-on education” mission. These ambassadors include mammals, birds, and reptiles, and represent all portions of the globe. Many of these species are experiencing decreases in their numbers in the wild, and Wild Wonders partners with conservation organizations to help reverse these trends.
At the World Endangered Species Day event, a portion of proceeds will go to benefit Arctictis Binturong Conservation to protect the Binturong in their native habitat.
All the animal ambassadors came from other educational facilities, were confiscated or owner relinquished illegal pets, or are non-releasable native wildlife. Their ambassador duties include visits to local libraries in support of summer reading programs, visits to schools, or they can be seen by touring Wild Wonders.
Besides the animal encounters, the event on May 19 will include Thai food and beverages, and music and crafts from Southeast Asia. For tickets, visit www.wildwonders.org.