PERTH ZOO WELCOMES FIRST BINTURONG CUBS
PERTH Zoo has welcomed two baby Asian bearcats to its menagerie, the first to be bred there in its 119-year history.
Also known as binturong, they belong to the civet family, and are capable of delaying their pregnancy after mating until they feel environmental conditions are favourable.
The parents of the male and female cubs arrived in Australia less than 12 months ago, so zookeeper Marty Boland says it’s great first-time mother Selasa is feeling secure and content.
“She’s even trusted us to handle her cubs to quickly weigh them,” Mr Boland said.
“They tip the scales just over one kilogram, a good weight for binturong infants.” He said zoo visitors may smell the omnivores before they see them as they emit a distinctive popcornlike odour, which predators can’t stand, from glands under their tails.
The species is listed as vulnerable due to habitat destruction and poaching for meat and fur. WELCOME to the future where even the rubbish bins are wired to the latest technology.
The Gold Coast City Council has gone hi-tech with about 50 garbage bins in Surfers Paradise as part of a trial to make the rubbish pick-up more efficient.
Public bins have been fitted with a hi-tech sensor which sends messages to a tablet letting garbage collectors know when the bin is full.
At present, waste collectors check every bin to determine if they need emptying.
“Imagine what we can save by a man not having to get in and out of the truck checking the bins?,” said Dawn Crichlow, the council’s city infrastructure chairwoman.
The sensor bins look the same as the council’s current public rubbish bins, with the sensor fitted inside the bin, hidden from view. Each sensor costs about $250 and the council is spending $25,000 on the trial.
The sensors are powered by a lithium-powered battery and the city’s LoRaWAN network, a wireless web specifically for small battery-operated devices.
An alert will also be sent to the council if a bin is full.
Cr Crichlow said the sensors also detected the heat inside the bins, in case of fire.
Smart rubbish bins are being trialled across the country with Melbourne and Adelaide councils among the first to trial them.
Council’s water and waste committee chairman Paul Taylor said the trial was a “great idea but we must make sure the bins are still emptied regularly”. “Even if a rubbish bin is only five per cent full it might still need emptying because of what is in it.”
The trial will end in September next year. If successful, the council will roll out smart bins across the city, starting in the more heavily populated and trafficked areas.
Male and female Asian bearcat cubs, also known as binturong, are the newest addition at Perth Zoo.