The Newquay Zoo’s head zookeeper is taking extra care of their new little member.
A female Owston’s civet, which is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, was born on April 15 at the U.K. zoo, and head zookeeper Dave Rich has been personally caring for her ever since, according to the zoo’s website.
“She is important to the future of her species, we couldn’t risk losing her,” Rich explained on the site.
The new female, which is a native species of Vietnam, Laos and China, is one of only 17 civets currently living in captivity, according to the BBC. She was born a triplet, though sadly her two siblings were stillborn.
Rich found the three newborns after their mother had given birth, but noticed she was not tending to them. He quickly took them to the vet, and found that one was still alive. Since then, the zookeeper has been hand-raising the baby civet, feeding her Royal Canin Babycat Milk from a bottle every four hours.
“She’s incredibly cute,” Rich said on the zoo’s website. “She has a very quirky little routine – she’s far too busy wanting to make noise, explore and wrestle with the bottle for the first two attempts and then almost every time takes the bottle on the third try and guzzles the lot!”
He even takes her home with him on his days off, wanting to make sure she receives the care she needs to survive.
There has only been one other civet who was hand-raised, but she died after two months, never making it to adulthood, the BBC reported.
So far, the new little civet is doing well, according to the zoo’s website. She’s “strong and lively,” eating well and sleeping between meals.
The Newquay Zoo has five other adult Owston civets, and is known to successfully breed the rare species. According to the BBC, the last civets who successfully grew to adulthood were brought up at the Newquay Zoo three years ago.
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