Sweet-smelling binturongs

Keepers caring for our binturong pair get the sweet-smelling aroma of hot buttered popcorn every day.

That’s because Ellie and Elliot use scent glands under their tails to mark out their territory, but to humans is resembles the smell of popcorn.

The strong scent hits keepers as they head into the off-show sections of the impressive £25,000 abode, built this spring, to look after the pair.

Keeper Cheyenne Darkins said: “The smell is really powerful when you first come inside and gets very sweet after a while.

“Ellie and Elliot have access to the beautiful outdoor area, their heated indoor on-show area and two large indoor dens at all times and only get shut in at night if it falls below five degrees.

“Inside the back dens there are also weighing scales built into a shelf and we weigh them at least once a week as part of their health checks.”

The duo, who can be regularly be seen climbing the ropes in the outdoor section, are fed cooked chicken breast, boiled eggs and fruit and some days will feast on a chicken or quail carcass.

Keepers are now in the process of making hammocks out of old fire hose in the off-show areas so Ellie and Elliot can get as comfortable as they do in their on-show indoor section.

Cheyenne added: “In their indoor viewing area, Elliot just loves curling up in the barrel and often the two are seen sitting on the shelf above the radiator keeping nice and snug.”