Area: Southeast Asia
Habitat: Tropical forests, high forests and jungles
Food: Mostly fruit, small mammals, rodents, and insects
Size: length is 2 to 3 ft with a tail length of 2 to 3 ft and weight is between 20 -31 lbs.
At Ease in the Trees
The binturong is sometimes given the name “bear cat” because it has a face that looks like a cat and a body like a bear with long shaggy black hair, however they are not related to either animal. They have stiff white whiskers and a prehensile tail that can act like a fifth hand and is almost as long as their body. Binturongs have lighter or silver coloured hair on their face which makes them appear bigger to other animals. They have small rounded ears with long tufts of hair and small reddish brown eyes. Binturongs are able to turn their ankles backwards so that their claws can still grip onto a tree when they are climbing down a tree headfirst. Binturongs climb trees and leap from branch to branch using its tail and claws to hang on with while it looks for food. They are primarily nocturnal creatures that sleep in tree branches during the day and look for food at night.
They mark their territory by using a scent to communicate with other binturongs that this is their territory. The binturong has a unique scent that smells like cooked buttered popcorn, the scent comes from an oil gland under the tail that puts the scent out when they drag their tail through the branches of the trees. The scent communicates to other binturongs that may be looking for a mate or if they are a trespasser to leave the territory.
They also make lots of noises to communicate with each other, they will make a chuckling sound if they are happy and will let out a high pitched wail if they are unhappy. Some of the other sounds that they make are hisses, growls and grunts.
Binturongs can be vicious if they are cornered.