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bintlets potter park zoo, potter park zoo facebook, potter park zoo instagram

A dose of cuteness the world needs to see.

Michigan’s Potter Park Zoo was thrilled to announce the arrival of some new residents this year: bintlets.

Um, just what is a bintlet, you may ask? Binturongs (the adult version of a bintlet) are fascinating creatures hailing from the rainforests of Southeast Asia, where they love to hang out in the lush treetops. It’s one of the few animals with a prehensile tail, meaning it can hold and manipulate objects.

Binturong: The bearcat that is neither bear nor cat.www.youtube.com

Though they are often called bearcats due to their hodgepodge appearance, binturongs are neither bear nor cat. They belong to the Viverridae family, a very unique species group containing all seemingly cat-like critters, though none are actually felines. According to Brittanica, they have even been reported to be affectionate pets, much like the domestic house cat. But still—not cats. Very misleading.



Also: The binturong’s teeth technically classify it as a carnivore. However, it might as well be classified as a fig-atarian, the way it likes to swallow the small fruit whole. Yeah … they’re basically a walking contradiction on four legs.

Perhaps the coolest thing about binturongs: Getting up close and personal with one might have you thinking you waltzed into a movie theater. They mark their territory by secreting a substance that famously smells just like buttery popcorn. Nature’s creativity is endless.

Threatened mostly by deforestation and illegal wildlife trade, binturongs have been listed as “vulnerable” on IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List. That makes the birth of Potter Park’s bintlets—the first bintlet birth at the zoo in more than two decades, WILX News reported—all the more special. Baby animal news is great. At-risk baby animal news is even better.

Potter Park posted to its Facebook page congratulating Thistle, the zoo’s female binturong, on her newborns. WILX added that where Thistle would remain with the bintlets for a few months time, the binturong father (named Barry … Barry the binturong, it’s just too perfect) will still be viewable at the zoo’s habitat.

Officials added that sadly, only two of three bintlets made it, due to sickness. Despite 24 hours of care from veterinary and animal care staff, the third bintlet passed away. Still, in the video we see two healthy, squeaking babes right next to their happy mama.

"Love how the mom looks right at the camera like she is saying aren’t my babies the cutest babies ever," one person commented.

And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for—close up photos revealing all the bintlet cuteness.

binturongs, baby binturongs

100% adorable.

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OMG. A baby bintlet in a baby bathtub. To what do we owe this pleasure?

This one has its little eyes open.

potter park zoo,

Sooooo teeny!

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According to Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, bintlets are born with their eyes closed and will cling to their mothers until independent. Sometimes for even longer. Relatable.

Special thanks to Potter Park Zoo and Thistle for delivering some happy news to get us through the week. We got a sweet story and fun animal education—it doesn’t get much better than that.

If you’d like to check in on all the animal shenanigans happening at Potter Park, you can follow the zoo on Instagram here. With more than 350 residents of all sizes and species, there’s sure to be no shortage of wholesome critter content.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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