Also called the 'bearcat', the Binturong is a carnivorous mammal that lives in the forests of southern Asia.
Discover this shy and little known species.
The origins of the Binturong
The Binturong belongs to the viverrids family, just like the genets.
This is a tree-dwelling animal that can be found in Asia (in Burma, Vietnam, Thailand as well as the Philippines).
The physical characteristics of the Binturong
The bearcat has black and grey, shaggy fur as well as a long, thick tail.
They measure about 120 cm, but half of this length can be attributed to their tails. They can weigh up to about 14 kg.
This animal is one of the rare carnivores that have a prehensile tail that can curl around branches, being used as a balanced in order to get around.
The lifestyle of the Binturong
The bearcat is a very reserved animal, but can become aggressive if they feel threatened or frightened.
They are considered part of the order of carnivores, but the majority of their nutrition comes from vegetables, plants and fruits. They can also feed on small rodents and birds. This is a solitary animal and they are usually most active at night.
This animal is a very good climber who is less at ease on the ground than others. The Binturong uses their tail to swing from tree too tree. They advance slowly but surely.
The number of Binturongs has taken a steep dive in the last years because of the continued destruction of their habitat.
Deforestation is the principle cause of their dwindling numbers in India and the Philippines. They are often captured and then sold as a pet. This is because they have the reputation of being very affectionate once trained. However, the bearcat remains a wild animal!
What do you think of the Binturong?