Thursday, October 8, 2009

Banded Palm Civet (Hemigalus derbyanus)

Small to medium-sized carnivores, civets are in the Viverridae family which includes genets, linsangs, and mongooses. Civets vary in size and form, but most present a catlike appearance with long noses, slender bodies, pointed ears, short legs and generally a long furry tail.

Banded palm civet is similar to banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) but banded linsang is smaller with entirely banded tail and spots on the body in addition to barring.

This is a juvenille banded palm civet that the local people captured. He actually tried to get the mother of this "unlucky" little civet but unfortunately he missed her. Mostly local people in this area eat civet's meat. After the mother run away this man saw this helpless little civet and captured it.

This local people tried to kept this little guy as their pet but he have problem with it. It do not eat fruits such as banana that he gave to it. Why? It is because banded palm civet is not frugivores. Their diets are earthworms, insects and other small animals both invertebrate and vertebrate.

When he saw me interested with this little guy, he ask me what this animal normally eat? I told him that info. Finally he decide to give it away to me. I was very happy and thinking of donate it to our mini zoo at KK. On my last day at that village, i was waiting for him to give me this little civet. However, he told me it was escaped because his kids forgot to closed the cage door.

Anyway, i have other feeling about it. People at this area have a very bad habit. If they have something they will not give away freely. They want some token out of it. I will not do it because if i buy it, this will give them some demand on getting more wild animals to be sold as a pet. This happen before. The other guy from this village kept Bornean Gibbon as a pet. One teacher teaching in that village saw it and he admired this gibbon very much. He offered him about RM500 for that gibbon and he just sell it. Not only that, the other guy from the adjacent village own a Malayan Porcupine (Hystrix brachyura) and wanted to sell it with the price RM30.

Even how i really wanted this animal to live freely in the forest i still not gonna buy it from them. There is still a way that can make this people aware that it is wrong to sell this wild animal. They know it is against the Wildlife Enactment (law) but when there is demand they just get it. They need money to live their own life too. Therefore the only thing that i can do is by giving them awareness on why we need to let this animal stays in the forest. Especially the young/juvenile one.

It is still a long way to go. Working with human is not easy...................we have unique and different mind set...hmmmm...

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