Skip to Content

Farewell to Beloved Penny: The Columbus Zoo Binturong

Share this post on:


Breaking hearts but leaving behind an enduring legacy, Penny the binturong has sadly passed away at the age of 13. On October 5, 2023, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, with tears in their eyes, shared the news of her departure via Instagram. NBC4 quickly echoed this sorrowful news. As we remember Penny, let’s delve into her extraordinary life and the impact she had as a wildlife ambassador.

Penny’s Role: The Ambassador

Penny wasn’t your average zoo-dwelling critter! No, siree! She was a binturong with a mission—educating folks about her species and banging the drum for wildlife conservation. She was like the Greta Thunberg of the animal kingdom, advocating for her furry friends without any carbon footprint lectures.

Penny’s Achievements:

  • Penny tirelessly attended educational programs, charming school kids and adults alike with her endearing personality.
  • She starred in countless photoshoots, making it a mission to show off her glossy coat and cute button nose.
  • Penny’s Instagram account (@PennyBinturong) had a whopping 100K followers! Talk about a social media sensation!

So, even though she’s no longer with us, Penny’s legacy lives on. She leaves us with a treasure trove of memories and a reminder of the importance of protecting our animal friends.

Arrival at the Zoo: A Floridian Turned Ohioan

Penny’s journey began back in 2013 when she packed her bags and left sunny Florida to become a true Ohioan at the Columbus Zoo. She probably had no idea what she was getting into…Ohio winters are no joke! But she adapted like a pro.

  • Born in Florida, Penny was accustomed to a warm and humid climate.
  • Ohio, on the other hand, threw some chilly surprises her way. But Penny, with her thick fur coat, laughed in the face of winter!

At the Columbus Zoo, Penny quickly became a local celebrity. Ohioans couldn’t resist her charming personality and that unique scent she carried around (more on that later!). She had found her forever home, and the zoo community was better for it.

Cherished Member: Penny’s Heartwarming Impact

Penny was more than just an animal in a cage; she was family. Her passing hit the Columbus Zoo community hard, and for good reason. She was the zoo’s heart and soul, its unofficial mascot, and its furriest friend. Zookeepers and staff had a special bond with Penny, sharing countless laughs and snuggles. Visitors from near and far would flock to her enclosure to catch a glimpse of her. She was the rock star of the zoo!

But what made Penny truly unique was her scent. Binturongs are known for smelling like buttered popcorn. Can you imagine a better perfume? People couldn’t resist being around her, and she had the whole zoo under her aromatic spell!

Penny’s Lasting Paw Print

In her 13 years with us, Penny the binturong touched hearts, inspired curiosity, and reminded us all of the importance of protecting our planet’s incredible wildlife. Her journey from Florida to Ohio, her role as a wildlife ambassador, and her unique scent left an indelible mark on the Columbus Zoo community and beyond.

While Penny’s passing leaves us with a sense of loss, it also leaves us with a sense of purpose. We must carry forward her message of conservation and education, ensuring that future generations can appreciate the beauty and wonder of the natural world.

Up next:

Animals in the Philippines

Top 10 Big-Eyed Animals

Animals in Asia

Share this post on: