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What in the world is a binturong?

Happy World Binturong Day from the Animal Park!

A binturong (Arctictis binturong) is one of our more unique animal residents found here at the Animal Park. This keystone species plays a vital role in sustaining the ecosystem throughout Southeast Asian rainforests.

Binturongs are viverridae, which is a family under the “mammal” classification. Other species found in this family are genets and civets.

Commonly referred to as a “bearcat,” binturongs have characteristics that are similar to both bears and cats! They have flat, five-toed paws with claws that are not retractable. Their ankles are able to rotate 180°, which gives them the ability to climb up and down trees head first!

Their appearance is quite unique as they have very long but stout bodies with their tails equal to their body length. Speaking of their tails, they are very thick and muscular at the base and the last third is prehensile. Prehensile tails belong to animals that have adapted to be able to hold or grasp. Binturongs are unable to hold their weight with their tails but use them as a balancing tool. This works out perfectly for them as they are arboreal, so their tails assist them as they climb and move through the trees of the rainforests.

These animals are classified as omnivorous, which means that they have the ability to eat both plants and meat.

The binturongs at the Animal Park especially enjoy treats of bananas!

The Animal Park is home to two male binturongs, Sash and Jerry. Both of these binturongs can be found across from each other in our Animal Park. Sash enjoys laying high on his platform and taking naps in the warm sun, whereas Jerry generally spends his time wrapped tightly in his warmed building habitat. Both of these binturongs enjoy visitors and various forms of scent and treat enrichment. Visit our JustGiving campaign to donate towards the care of Sash and Jerry and to help the Animal Park fulfill our mission!

Visit our youtube page to learn more and to meet our binturongs! We also have a printable BINTURONG WORD SEARCH PUZZLE and a Binturong Coloring Page!

World Binturong Day Video!