Ohh, Ohh, Ohh (clap, clap, clap, clap) Baby Bearcat!
The University of Cincinnati is getting a new living mascot. The Cincinnati Zoo Friday introduced a new baby bearcat just arrived from the Nashville Zoo.
The female binturong is five weeks old and weighs two pounds. "She'll grow to be north of 20 pounds, between 20 and 30 pounds likely," says Zoo Director Thane Maynard. "This species is from the Philippines and they can grow 20 to 40 pounds but females are typically a little smaller than the males."
The zoo says the bearcat is a subspecies called a Palawan binturong.
The animal is doing well, Maynard says, adding that unlike a puppy for example, baby bearcats don't require being with their mothers for long periods of time after birth.
The baby bearcat still needs a name and the zoo is hosting a naming contest. The final choice will be unveiled at UC's homecoming game on Nov. 9.
The previous living mascot, "Lucy," retired from her duties in August. The zoo began looking for her replacement after Lucy began exhibiting signs she no longer enjoyed "getting out and going places."
"Lucy is still doing well," Maynard says. "They probably won't live together but we'll see how that goes as she matures."
Lucy attended more than 200 UC games after taking on the duties of mascot in 2008.
The newest bearcat becomes the fourth from the zoo to be the university's official mascot. Maynard expects she'll be ready to start attending school events this basketball season.
For now, zoo visitors will find the baby bearcat in the Children's Zoo.
Binturongs, or bearcats, are part of the civet family and are native to South and Southeast Asia. They are said to smell like buttered popcorn.