Friday, August 5, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Binturongs, Oh My!

On the 2nd, I had the very fortunate opportunity to tour the Conservators Center outside of Raleigh, NC, before my event at Quail Ridge Books. Those of you who know me at all know that there's nothing I like better than poking fingers at animals, and rumor had it they had wolves and lions and lemurs, most of them rehabilitated from closed zoos, failed exotic pet owners, and road accidents. A huge thanks to Tom and Bonnie for making this happen, and also to Mindy and Kim for sharing their time and expertise with us.

One of the animals Mindy was proudest of was the binturong. I'd never heard of them, which amazed me because of the sheer number of hours I logged in front of National Geographic as a child. But Mindy explained to me that they were crucial for the existence of the rainforest. Here is some Binturong arithmetic.

biturong arithmetic

The binturong eats the strangler fig, poops it out minus the seed casing, and up grows a rainforest. No bintorong equals no poop equals no strangler fig equals only Wal-Marts.

What a useful animal!

You can see more useful animals (and also hear one of the more impressive auditory events in my life) in the video.

And the Conservators Center is open for tours and runs on donations, so please consider one or the other! I would love to take Thing 1 & 2 back there.
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