The ongoing mission to locate a missing animal at Dartmoor Zoo gains momentum as zookeepers persist in their quest to find Malu, the escaped Binturong. The zoo verified on Friday, 26th January, that Malu had departed from his enclosure, prompting an active search for the elusive creature. Concerns surfaced when visitors reported not having sighted him during their visits this month.
Dartmoor Zoo asserts that the Binturong, a nocturnal mammal, likely remains within the zoo premises. Nevertheless, they caution the public against approaching Malu, stressing that he is not considered a threat. The zoo urges anyone who spots the missing animal to report the sighting promptly.
A spokesperson for Dartmoor Zoo provided an update today, stating, “Malu is still missing. The team continues to actively search for him.” The ongoing efforts underscore the dedication of the zoo’s staff in locating the Binturong and ensuring his safe return.
On Friday, the zoo issued a statement addressing the situation, remarking, “Our Binturong Malu has managed to leave his enclosure. At this stage, we still believe he is in our zoo, and the team is working extremely hard to locate him.” They reiterated that Malu, rescued from the island of Palawan in the Philippines and brought to Dartmoor Zoo in July 2023, is not a threat to the general public.
Members of the public are urged to report any potential sightings to the zoo through the provided contact number: 01752 837645. The zoo emphasises that the safety of both the public and the animal is paramount.
Malu’s journey to Dartmoor Zoo commenced in July 2023 when he was transported from the mini zoo Get To Know Animals in Epping, Essex. Rescued from Palawan, Malu’s arrival in the UK marked a new chapter in his life.
Binturongs, native to Asia, face numerous threats in their natural habitat. Classified as vulnerable, they are at risk due to the illegal pet trade, deforestation, poaching for fur, and capture for the production of civet coffee. In Laos, the species is sometimes captured and consumed as a delicacy.
Dartmoor Zoo, renowned for its commitment to conservation and animal welfare, emphasises the importance of the public’s cooperation in providing information that could assist in locating Malu. The zoo’s spokesperson reiterated, “If he is spotted, it is advised that you do not approach him and contact the zoo immediately.”
The situation raises awareness about the challenges faced by species like the Binturong in their natural habitats and the crucial role that conservation efforts play in protecting vulnerable wildlife.
As the search for Malu continues, Dartmoor Zoo remains optimistic about his safe return. The collaboration between zookeepers and the public underscores the shared responsibility in ensuring the well-being of animals under human care.
In conclusion, the missing Binturong incident serves as a reminder of the complexities surrounding wildlife conservation and the need for ongoing efforts to protect vulnerable species. Dartmoor Zoo appreciates the public’s vigilance and assistance in reporting any potential sightings of Malu, as the collective effort plays a pivotal role in the successful resolution of this situation. The zoo remains committed to the welfare of its residents and appreciates the community’s support during this challenging time.