Also known as a bearcat, even though they aren’t bears or cats, binturongs are large civets from south-east Asia that smell like buttered popcorn.
Binturongs live in the canopy of tropical forests and will sleep high in tree branches, curling up with their heads tucked under their tails. They are one of only two carnivores (the other is the kinkajou) with a prehensile tail. The tail is almost as long as the body and acts like another limb when climbing.
They play an important role in spreading the seeds of the fruits that they eat. They are also one of the few animals animals with digestive enzymes capable of softening the tough outer covering of the seeds of strangler figs.
Considered rare throughout much of its range, the binturong is believed to be declining and is classed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. There are nine described subspecies of binturong, although the Palawan population (Arctictis binturong whitei) is often considered as a separate species.
Colour a binturong
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World Binturong Day is organised by ABConservation – the one and only association in the world that is entirely dedicated to the study and protection of binturongs. Find out more about their website and like them on Facebook.