After an absence of several decades a very special species has returned to Hamerton.
Many years before the Park opened to the public, a large private collection of animals was housed on what is now our service and off-exhibit area. Included was a pair of Ringtails, sometimes called Miner's 'Cats' or Cacomistles. This beautiful little animal is not a cat but a Procyonid and a relative of the better known Raccoon and Kinkajou. It is the State Mammal of Arizona.
We have always had plans to bring this little-known animal back to the Park, and last year were honoured to be welcomed into the American Zoo Association's formal breeding programme for the species, as their very first foreign member institution.
On the advice of the species coordinator, an unrelated young pair was selected for us. The male arrived last week from Pueblo Zoo in Colorado and is currently settling in to our off-show isolation unit. His mate will come over in the summer from Zoo America in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Although our new Ringtails are eventually destined for a brand new exhibit we have planned for construction next year, we hope that they will be moved on-exhibit this coming autumn.