The Binturong (Arctictis binturong) is an arboreal mammal. It is also known as a Bearcat. It is not related to bears and it is not related to cats. It is closely related to the Palm Civet. It is a viverrid.
The Binturong has a grey-black, thick, furry body with short legs. Its tail is long, bushy, curls inwards at the end, and is prehensile, which means that it can wrap around branches. It has a short, turned-up, black rounded nose covered with bristly hairs. It has long whiskers.
Its eyes are large and black, with a vertical pupil. It has short, rounded ears, edged with white, with tufts of black hair. It has six short rounded incisor teeth in each jaw, two long sharp canine teeth, and six molar teeth on each side of its jaw. Its five toes have long claws. It has musk glands that emit a scent.
It grows to 71-84 centimetres (28-33 inches) long. Its tail is 66-69 centimetres (26-27 inches) long.
The Binturong is native to south Asia and southeast Asia, in countries such as India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, south China, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
It prefers tall forests. It is arboreal, living in trees. It is active during the day and night. It curls up when resting and sleeping. It does not leap from tree to tree. Instead, it prefers to climb up and down trees, head first.
It is omnivorous, eating a range of food, such as small mammals, birds, fish, earthworms, insects, and fruit. Its predators include leopards and pythons.
The female is pregnant for 84-99 days, before giving birth to 1-6 young.
The Binturong lives, on average, for 25 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM