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Zoo news: Poppy to lead World Binturong Day fest
zoo slt Poppy
Dennis Neeland, president of the Great Bend Zoological Society, is shown with Poppy, the binturong at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Community Orchard kickoff announced

K-State Research and Extension will have a community orchard. Fruit trees will be planted inside the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo. The public is invited to help kick off the start of this project  at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at the zoo. For more information contact Alicia Boor at the Barton County Extension Office, 793-1910, or email

May 9 is World Binturong Day and the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo at its own binturong, Poppy, will celebrate with a special event, Zoo Director Nicole Benz said.
The zoo will host a hog meet from 5-8 p.m. on May 9. The menu will include pulled pork, beans and coleslaw. The evening will also feature live animal shows, zoo tours, and the guest of honor, Poppy the binturong. Tickets will go on sale later the month at the zoo for $8.
Proceeds will be used to help build a new home at the zoo for Poppy.
ABConservation is organizing the first World Binturong Day in 2015. It is described as an action of international scope taking place in the zoological parks, wildlife rescue and conservation centers around the world.
“In some countries, the binturong is called a bearcat,” the ABConservation website notes. “Even if it there is no link with these two species, that nickname appeared because of its walk, which consists in applying the entire sole foot on the ground, like a bear. On the other hand, its jaw and head, as well as its reproductive parameters, are similar to a cat.
“It has long coarse hairs with a wide range of colors, from lightning grey to intense black. Its fur seems shaggy, because of the long black hair tufts on its large white-circled black ear, but also because of the paler ring on the hairs of its tail and back.
“Its shinny black nose, its large ears, its brown to honey-colored eyes and its long moustaches make the binturong look like a sweet creature, even if its carnivorous teeth give it a fierce aspect when it yawns or feeds. Yet, its feeding habits are mostly composed of fruits and vegetables.”
Also, through binturongs all smell a lot like popcorn! That may be why those who voted to name Great Bend’s binturong earlier this year overwhelmingly chose the name Poppy.