Binturong, Also Known As a Bearcat

The binturong, also known as a Bearcat is a mostly tree dwelling mammal. The binturong’s natural habitat is up in the trees of the rainforest canopy. It is native to central Asia, namely China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. The binturong is a nocturnal animal that sleeps on tree branches. Bearcats are omnivores, primarily eating various fruits but have also been known to eat vegetation, eggs and small animals such as birds and rodents.
The binturong’s name is curious as the animal has no relation in either the bear nor the cat families. It shall remain a mystery though as the local language that gave the binturong such an unusual name has since died out. The binturong has small dark eyes and short, rounded ears. The binturong tends to be the size and weight of a large cat.
The average binturong will weigh in between twenty and thirty pounds and between twenty four and thirty eight inches in length. The binturong’s body is covered with a short, course black fur. The binturong’s hind legs can rotate around backward so the animal can maintain a grip on branches.
The binturong also possesses a thick, bushy prehensile tail that usually doubles the binturong’s length and can be used as a fifth hand. The animal will beat its tail on the ground and on sides of trees as it walks. This action, along with a low howling, serves to announce its presence to other binturongs.
Along with the howling to herald its arrival, the binturong is also known to make other noises. They have been known to let out a low growl when threatened or territorial, a high pitched wail when irritated and a throaty chuckling sound while seemingly happy.
One of the binturong’s oddest attributes would have to be its natural scent. A binturong’s scent is used in drawing territorial lines, attracting an ideal mate and announcing location. Most humans who have come in contact with binturongs, whether it be in the wild or in captivity, compare the scent of the animal to the smell of hot, buttered popcorn or fresh from the oven cornbread.

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