A few days ago more unwanted pet wild animals arrived at the WFFT Wildlife Rescue Centre, one male and one female Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinereus) and a male common palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). These animals had been purchased by the owner two years’ prior, the owner had decided that keeping these wild animals as pets was not a good idea. It is likely that these animals were illegally poached from the wild prior to being sold in the illegal wildlife trade.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the Asian small-clawed otter as Vulnerable (VU), due to a past population decline because of habitat loss and exploitation. In the last few decades, the range of Asian small-clawed otter has decline rapidly. Given the extent of loss of habitat that is occurring in south and southeast Asia and the intensity of poaching the reduction in population has been observed in many parts of its range including. In Indochina, the range of the species is shrinking, and hunting appears to play a major role in its rapid decline in the eastern end of its global range.
Common palm civets are increasingly being kept as pets and are the most commonly used civet species in the production of civet coffee/Kopi luwak. They are currently listed as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species but this is likely to change with the increased capture of wild individuals for the pet trade, bush meat trade and for the production of Kopi luwak.
We have named the otters Jessie and James, and the civet Steve. All three animals seem in good health, although having been fed unsuitable diets for the past two years, it may take some time for them adjust to a new diet. The otters are now being housed in a larger enclosure with a large pool which is more suited than the small cage they had before. The civet is being housed in a large enclosure at the WFFT Nocturnal Forest Zone.