PERTH ZOO WEL­COMES FIRST BIN­TUR­ONG CUBS

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

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.

Pic­ture: AAP IM­AGE

Male and fe­male Asian bearcat cubs, also known as bin­tur­ong, are the new­est ad­di­tion at Perth Zoo.

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