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ABConservation in the UK

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It is my pleasure to be developing a UK Branch of ABConservation to engage more people with the beloved Binturong to support our work in Palawan. World Binturong Day 2023 was a hugely exciting first milestone for us, with our first in person zoo visits with our fantastic team of volunteers!

On World Binturong Day we visited Shaldon Wildlife Trust in Devon, it was a great day with beautiful sunny weather and everyone who came to the zoo that day was very interested in ABConservation work and our stall. The children enjoyed our activities, games and colouring, the seed bomb activity was very popular and our popcorn filled smell box surprised everybody. Shaldon Wildlife Trust also ran a best binturong drawing competition to win their Adopt a Binturong package, some of the gorgeous drawings created by children (and excited adults!) can be seen below. Shaldon Wildlife Trust is a magical small zoo, set into a wooded hillside next to the sea and specializes in small animals. Their binturong Orson is the biggest animal in the collection! Our stall was next to Orson’s enclosure and we had the pleasure of watching him sunbathe and move around throughout the day. Many of the zoo’s visitors are passionate conservationists who live locally and we had a brilliant day talking to many well informed and conservation minded locals as well as lots of zoo visitors for whom World Binturong Day was a new surprise. A huge THANK YOU to Zak Showell and Jo Jabbi and everyone at Shaldon Wildlife Trust for hosting us and for their generous financial support of ABConservation!

The following Saturday we were in the Midlands at Dudley Zoo, an amazing zoo set in a wooded hillside around an 11th century castle. Not only does it provide home to nearly 200 species and contribute to international conservation and award winning breeding programmes for some of the world’s rarest animals, it’s also a World Monument due as many of the enclosures are unique ‘Tectons’, revolutionary buildings designed and developed in the 1930’s by Modernist architects. We enjoyed a day of beautiful sun after weeks of rain in Dudley, and the good weather brought lots of visitors to the zoo, with over 2200 people and EVERYONE came past our stall next to the Binturong enclosure on the main route through the zoo! Our beautiful photos, the giant red dice on our Binturong board game and seed bomb activity drew most of the visitors towards us and by the end of day we were hoarse from game playing and talking all things Binturong to so many people! It was great fun playing our Binturong board game with so many children, everyone learnt lots about Binturongs and had great fun sending the giant dice rolling and bouncing everywhere. The children produced some fantastic Binturong art works and having made 100’s of seed bombs there should be fennel growing all over Dudley by next summer! A huge THANK YOU to the wonderful Jack Williams, Head of Education and Conservation, the keepers who were so kind to us and everyone at Dudley Zoo and Castle for feeding us, hosting us, helping out on the stall and helping us carrying all our heavy equipment! A huge THANK YOU to your generous financial support of ABConservation - together we will save the Binturong!

Thank you to all the UK zoos who have independently hosted World Binturong Day events and support ABConservation, your support is very much appreciated and we look forward to meeting you soon! We’re hoping to visit more UK zoo’s through the summer and develop a Binturong Ambassador Programme for zoo staff and volunteers in the UK. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates and more information. If you’d like to get involved and support our work in the UK please get in touch Louisa.Bodnar@abconservation.org


Louisa

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