This animal has a peculiar smell, similar to the buttered popcorn you buy in movie theaters.
This smell comes from a chemical compound in their urine (2-AP), that is the same that gives popcorn its scent when it pops because of the heat. When they urinate, their tail and feet get soaked, and then they rum themselves against the trees where they live to mark their territory, as they are very solitary animals.
This species is the only one of its genus. Its closest relatives are civets and genets.
They have a long prehensile tail they use to grip the branches while they move about the trees. It is one of only two carnivores (despite eating mostly fruit, they are in the order Carnivora) with this kind of tail. The other is the Kinkajou.
They are nocturnal and arboreal. They spend time in trees resting or looking for food, even though sometimes they climb down to the ground to go from one tree to the other or to collect fallen fruit.
The binturong is one of 100 mammals capable of embryonic diapause. Once the egg has been fertilized, the female can delay its implantation ensuring that the environment and conditions are favorable.
They make lots of noises: from chuckling when happy to wailing or growling when irritated. They also make hissing sounds when hunting and females purr when mating.
It is considered one of the most temperamental animals, and even though they are not usually aggressive or extremely territorial with members of their own species, everything changes when they feel harassed.
This animal walks flat-footed, like bears or humans, which makes them walk in a distinctive way, ambling from side to side.
They play a vital role for their habitats, as they spread the seeds from the fruits they eat in their droppings, especially the fruits from the Ficus area or strangler fig.
Even though its common name is bearcat, it is not related at all to either of these two animals.
The number of binturongs has decreased by 30% in the past 18 years, especially due to the destruction and degradation of its habitat (to make room for palm oil plantations) and pet trade.
|COMMON NAME||CONSERVATION STATUS|
|Arctictis binturong||66-84 cm (26-33 in)|
|Viverridae||9-20 kg (19.82-44.05 lb)|
|Carnivora||An average of 18 years|
|Mammalia||90 to 92 days|
|Unknown. Constantly declining.||Mainly fruitarian, they mostly eat the fruits of a type of ficus, but they can also hunt little animals, like insects, birds, fish and rodents.|
|They are primarily arboreal and they live in the tree crown, normally in tropical forests.||They live in Southeast Asia, especially in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Malasya, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.|