Since 1995, the CPCP/Save Vietnam’s Wildlife is the only rescue centre which has a successful track record in the rehabilitation and breeding of Owston’s Civets. This is the first rescue of an Owston’s Civet to the CPCP centre since 2002.

The Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP), a collaboration between Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) and Cuc Phuong National Park, worked with Xuan Loc – Long Khanh Forest Protection Station (FPS), Dong Nai Province to successfully rescue an Owston’s Civet (Chrotogate owstoni). This is the first rescue of an Owston’s Civet to the CPCP centre since 2002. The individual is now under special care at the CPCP/Save Vietnam’s Wildlife.

This civet was voluntarily handed over by Mr Luu Quang Mat, a local person from Long Khanh, Dong Nai Province. He contacted SVW’s wildlife crime hotline 0978.331.441 directly. According to Mr Luu, he bought two Owston’s Civets in 2014 from a local hunter in Ho Chi Minh City and raised them as pets without knowing the species is prohibited for hunting and trading for commercial purposes. One of the civets had died due to its weakness. After that, he decided to hand over the remaining civet to the rescue centre.

“Fortunately, I could contact Save Vietnam’s Wildlife to get a better solution for this rare species. If I had known about the organisation earlier, another civet would not have died. All I want now is for this civet to recover so that it can be released back into the wild. I believe that the civet is now in good hands”, Mr Luu said.

The Owston’s Civet is one of the rarest civet species in Vietnam. It is classified in group IIB under Decree 32/2006/NĐ-CP and prioritized for protection by the Government. In order to ensure confiscated Owston’s Civets and other wildlife will be transferred to rescue centres, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife conducted an Owston’s Civet Awareness Campaign in late 2014.

Mr Tran Quang Phuong, CPCP Manager, said: “This rescue marks the first result of our campaign in raising public awareness of Owston’s Civet conservation. Also, it motivates the governmental authorities to keep responding on the confiscation of this species and transferring them to rescue centres.” Phuong added: “This individual is in good health. It will greatly contribute to our Owston’s Civet Conservation Breeding Program which is designed to increase the genetic diversity of wild populations”.

“Working with CPCP/Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, we understand that releasing Owston’s Civet straight back into the forests without quarantine and monitoring may harm wild populations. We highly appreciate Mat’s action and will continue to work closely with local communities as well as the rescue centres for further rescue activities in future.” Mr Nguyen Huu Hai from Xuan Loc – Long Khanh FPS, stated. Mr Nguyen Van Thai, Director of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife added, “Owston’s Civet can carry the Avian Influenza H5N1. Many Owston’s Civets died in 2005 and 2008 due to the Avian Influenza H5N1. Therefore, the animals need to be quarantined with careful health assessment before we can return them back to the wild. Keeping Owston’s Civets as pets or eating them in restaurants may transfer the disease to people”.

Since 1995, the CPCP/Save Vietnam’s Wildlife is the only rescue centre which has a successful track record in the rehabilitation and breeding of Owston’s Civets. If you are in possession of an Owston’s Civet, or have made a sighting, please contact CPCP/Save Vietnam’s Wildlife at 0978.331.441 to give this rare species a better chance of survival.