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More civet shenanigans in Cambodia!

News item submitted by Frontier
News item dated 2 Feb 2010

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The Cambodia forest team thought they had got to the bottom of the mystery of their missing pineapples two weeks ago, when they found a four-legged thief, a Palm Civet snaffling their fruit supply. This pesky critter, Latin name Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, not deterred by human presence just kept coming back. Fed up of losing their rations, the team decided something had to be done! 

For the sacrifice of a pineapple or two, the team decided to use the civet to practise their capture-mark-recapture techniques. This technique is commonly used to estimate animal abundance, an important part of the Cambodia research programme which seeks to collect vital information on the many endangered species which inhabit Botum Sakor National Park. They set up a large mammal trap using the civet’s favourite dish - pineapple - as bait. However, when they came to check the trap the next morning, the trap was empty and the pineapple was gone!

It seems no matter how hard they try, the wily civet just will not be caught! Those who have sighted the culprit say it is a particularly small specimen, small enough to wriggle out of the trap which is intended for larger mammals. Determined not to be outwitted, the team are in the process of trying to make the trap more secure. Watch this space for the next instalment of the Cambodian civet saga!

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