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Rare masked palm civet cats land in Rangamati zoo

CHTJ Desk: Two civets of rare species have been rescued from an indigenous man and kept those in the mini-zoo that run by Rangamati Hill District Council in the district.

Officials of Rangamati Forest Department identified those as Masked Palm Civets which locally known as Chholok. The scientific name of the species is Lavarta Paguma.

The two, a male and a female, in Bengali word is called ‘Gondha-gokul’.

A total of six animals including bear, deer, python, porcupine, monkey, civet and a bird species were kept and Tk 15000 is being spent monthly against the mini-zoo, said Ananda Chakma, who look after the zoo.  

 An indigenous hunter in Suvalong under Barkal upazila caught the civets from deep forest and later those were handed over to the chairman of Rangamati Hill District Council as gift. Nikhil Kumar Chakma, chairman of Rangamati Hill District Council, said that one of a man from Suvalong gave me the two civets to keep those in our mini-zoo. But I paid him for those animals.

“Recreation facility is not adequate in Rangamati town. So, we are trying to set up a real mini-zoo as we can able to do something for our town people,” Nikhil added.

Md. Sanaullah Patoary, divisional forest officer of Unclassified Forest Division, said this type of rare species civet has become threatened in the CHT forests. Nowadays it’s rarely seen in the jungle.

He said there are four species of civet---Indian large civet, common palm civet, masked palm civet and small palm civet.

Conservator of forest (CF) Md. Abu Hanif Patwary said many rare wild animals including civet have become endangered due to denuded of forests in CHT.

Masked palm civet is one of the four species of civet classifies in the Lavarta Paguma. An adult civet is head-body 60 cm long with 60 cm long tail. Its colour is dark brown or blackish civet with buff underparts and very few markings. It has black chin, throat and tail. A buff band below eye and a broad buff line down fore-headed and nose. Voice of the animal is usually silent.

Though the animal is basically nocturnal, but it also remained active during morning and afternoon. Mainly it arboreal, but it also comes to the ground for seeking food. 

They eat insects, fruits like pineapples, palms, and small vertebrate. Weight of an adult civet of this species is 3 to 4.5 kg. This species is under the VIVERRIDAE family.

A female civet give birth 3 to 4 progeny at a time.

A baby civet achieves climbing ability within two-three months after birth and reaches sexual maturity by end of it a year.  

There is a word that priests and kings in the past (ancient age) were used the oil of this civet for increase sexual ability to get back rejuvenation.

Caption: Masked palm civet rescued and kept in the mini-zoo run by the Rangamati Hill District Council. #