PALM DESERT, Calif. - Every birth at The Living Desert is considered a royal event, and this time around proud parents Able and Penelope welcomed two princely ringtail cubs born on June 12th at the zoo. The male and female ringtail cubs add to the Zoo's 400+ wildlife population.
"We consider all of our zoo population royalty, so it's always an exciting event when new animals are born at the park," says Stacey Johnson, President & CEO of The Living Desert. "Ringtails are fascinating and are not often seen, so we're looking forward to welcoming them into our wildlife landscape and introducing them to our visitors."
With their distinctive long, striped, furry tails, ringtails resemble a small fox with a raccoon tail. A nocturnal animal, legend claims ringtails used to be placed in boxes during the day and let out at night to hunt for mice in miner's cabins, which earned it the name, "Miner's Cat." Also called "Cacomistle," Ringtails are indigenous in the deserts of the southwest, and other arid, rocky regions.
They will be socialized and raised by animal handlers before joining their fellow ringtails at the park's exhibit later this summer. Relatives of the Coati and Raccoon, cubs do not open their eyes until approximately 30 days of age. Ringtails are incredible climbers and can navigate a vertical wall with ease, and their back feet can rotate 180 degrees to allow them to descend headfirst. They eat fruits, berries, insects, lizards, small rodents, and birds.
The birth of the cubs is a result of the dedication of the zoo's staff to animal conservation and species breeding. So far this year, fennec foxes and porcupines were born at the park.