Arctictis binturong

Status: Vulnerable

Range & Habitat
Trees of forest canopy in rain forests of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Reproduction & Growth
Mating season is all year, peaking in March-April and October-November. Binturongs begin breeding at the age of two and can have two litters a year. Gestation period is three months. Females have two pair of teats and although litters can range up to six young, one or two are more common. Cubs are born blind, helpless and rely on mother's milk for sustenance. They begin taking solid food after two months. Both parents care for the cubs and will exhibit aggressive behavior to protect their young. At one year, the cubs are fully grown and move away. As adults they weigh approximately 30-40 pounds and live up to 18 years.

Diet: Carnivore (but will eat vegetation!)
In the Wild: Fruits, plant matter and carrion. Known to swim and catch fish. In the Zoo: Fruits, omnivore biscuits, and dog food.

General Information
Binturongs are mainly arboreal and nocturnal. Vocalizations include low grunts or hisses when moving and fierce growls when aroused. Their prehensile tail is used for balance and gripping tree limbs. It is a skillful climber, with sharp, curved claws that are useful for seizing the uneven surfaces of tree bark. It descends trees head first like a squirrel. Smell is the binturong's most important sense, but their vision and hearing are well developed. They have an unusual odor, like corn chips or popcorn and mark their territory with scent by secreting a musk-like substance from scent glands, which is spread passively as they move through their habitat. The binturong is endangered due to habitat destruction and also for use in the medical trade in southeast Asia where it is commonly used as an aphrodisiac.

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