February 2013 saw an important milestone in our conservation efforts in Vietnam, with our male Owston's civet making the long journey from Shaldon to the Cuc Phong national park in Vietnam. Along with his brother from Newquay zoo, the two civets were flown to the project's headquarters in this protected area deep in the Vietnamese forest. Once there, they were introduced to the females already at the breeding centre and the hope is that any offspring from the pairs will be fitted with radio collars and released into the protected areas of habitat surrounding the project.
Shaldon Wildlife Trust has been instrumental in the development of an international effort to save this enigmatic and unusual creature. Very little is known about them and continuing research is underway, thanks partly to the support of the Trust. The animals here in the UK are part of a managed breeding programme to try and secure a safety net population for this rare animal and work towards a brighter future. They are hunted for their musk which is used in the perfume trade and are also used for bush meat. They are a shy nocturnal animal and so very little is known about their habits in the wild which is why the work of the Small Carnivore and Pangolin Project is so vital for this and other endangered species in Asia.
Find out more about the work of this conservation project on our in-situ conservation page.