Peter is an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer with over 50 years of work within zoos.
World Binturong Day takes place each year on the second Saturday in May. In 2022 this is on the 14th May.
The Binturong Arctictis binturong is a common and popular zoo animal but is now classed as vulnerable in the wild of South and South East Asia. This is primarily due to habitat loss which makes them more exposed and easily hunted. They are eaten widely and classed as a delicacy in some areas.
Some Binturong Facts
- The Binturong is capable or running at speeds of up to 15 mph.
- Binturong mainly live in the high canopy and rarely come to the ground.
- The Binturong is sometimes known as the Bear Cat but it is neither a bear nor a cat and is the Civet.
- They are omnivores but mainly live on fruit.
- The fruits of the Strangler Fig Ficus sp need to be eaten by the Binturong because without the actions of enzymes in the animals gut most seeds will not germinate. Ficus figs make up 90% of their diet in some areas. A similar semi symbiotic relationship existed between the Dodo and Sideroxylon grandiflorum. When the Dodo disappeared the trees could no longer reproduce...till somebody noticed the problem.
- They smell of Popcorn. This is secreted by anal glands and used to mark its territory.
- The Binturong is one of only two carnivores to have a Prehensile tail.
- The gestation period is around 90 days and because they have delayed implantation they can choose when to give birth.
- Binturong live around 18 years in wild and 25 years in captivity.
- They are mainly Crepuscular and so are most active at dusk and dawn.
- The Binturong is the largest species in the civet family.
- The scientific name is Arctictis binturong... Arctictis means 'bear weasel'.
Binturong: The Bearcat that is Neither Bear nor Cat
Curiously India is often omitted in distribution maps for the species.