- The Binturong is a mammal.
- One of the most unusual features of the binturong is its scent. It smells like a freshly made batch of popcorn!
- It has a face like a cat and a body like a bear which is why they are also known as bearcats.
- Their scientific name is: Arctictis Binturong.
- Binturongs are classed as carnivores but will eat most things.
- They are born after 84-92 days gestation, their eyes are still sealed and they remain hidden in their mothers’ thick fur for the first few days of life.
- Binturongs live solitary lives apart from females with offspring who tend to live in family groups.
- They have a lifespan of between 15.6 years for females and 18.8 years for males.
- Binturongs are related to civets and fossas and spend most of their time in the trees. They do however tend to climb down to get from tree to tree as they are not very agile.
- They can turn their ankles 180 degrees in order to grip the tree trunk when climbing down head first.
- The end of the binturong’s tail is actually prehensile, meaning it can use it like an extra hand when climbing. A leathery patch at the tip also helps them to grip.
- The binturong is the only mammal to be found in Africa, Asia and Europe and only one of two carnivores with a prehensile tail (the other is a kinkajou).
- In some parts of their range they are listed as vulnerable, in other parts endangered.
- Binturongs are at risk from: habitat destruction; poaching for use in traditional Asian medicine; the fur and pet trade; and in some areas they are considered a delicacy and hunted for food.
How you can help
Please show your support in any way that you can; spread the word to family and friends; donate directly to the wildlife organisations that are working every day to protect these majestic animals.
We simply cannot lose them.