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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 June 2006, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Zoo civet pair's first photocall
Newquay Zoo's newborn civets
Civets are small nocturnal carnivores from Vietnam
Staff at a Cornish zoo have been given their first proper glimpse of a pair of rare baby civets.

Civets are small carnivores from Vietnam and the pair, born at Newquay Zoo in May, are the first twins to be born outside South East Asia.

But this week the six-week old cubs were micro-chipped giving staff a chance for a closer look.

They were soon back with their mother, one of a pair loaned to Newquay Zoo as part of a conservation programme.

'Hands-off policy'

Stewart Muir, assistant director of Newquay Zoo, said: "The micro chipping was over in a matter of seconds.

"As we have a hands-off policy with all of our animals this was the only opportunity to take some quick photos before they went back to mum."

The birth of the pair is part of the Owston's Civet Conservation Programme and Mr Muir said the arrival of the twins was "one of the most important births ever at Newquay Zoo".

The creatures are nocturnal and will soon be in a nesting box with a special reflective mirror so visitors to the zoo will be able to see them asleep during the day.

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