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|Latin Name:||Arctictis Binturong||Diet:||Carnivore|
|Native To:||Asia||Social Unit:||Individual|
|IUCN Red List Status:||Vulnerable|
Binturongs at Edinburgh Zoo
Edinburgh Zoo has one male and one female binturong. Ali, the male, was born in May 2010 and came to us in May 2012 from Faunia Zoo, Madrid. Bali, the female, arrived here in October 2006 from Lille Zoo in France. She was born in May 2001.
Binturong photo by
Where it can be found at Edinburgh Zoo
Our binturongs can be found in the enclosure to the left of the Oriental short clawed otters and below the banteng.
Binturongs in the wild
Binturongs (Arctictis binturong) can be found in the rainforests of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Although the binturong is sometimes called a bearcat, it is not actually related either to bears or to cats. As a member of the Viverridae family, the binturong is most closely related to civets and genets.
The binturong is an arboreal species. This means that it lives primarily in the forest canopy, using its claws and its long, prehensile tail to grip on as it leaps from branch to branch. It can rotate its hind legs so that its claws still have a grip when climbing down a tree head-first; it also uses its gripping tail as a brake when running down trees. The species is mostly nocturnal, meaning it is active during the night, but will come out during the day to sit in the sun.
Binturongs brush musk from scent glands under their tails onto trees and the ground to mark their territory, and howl to alert other binturong of their presence. People have compared the smell of binturong musk to the smell of hot buttered popcorn! They typically live alone or in small family groups.
Binturongs eat a mixed diet of fruit, leaves, figs, birds, carrion, fish, eggs, rodents and plant shoots. They are skilled hunters and will leap and snatch food from the air; they are also good swimmers.
In the wild, binturongs are declining steadily in numbers due to many threats. Binturong habitats are being destroyed by logging, deforestation, and conversion of forests to non-forest land-uses. In the Philippines, binturongs are captured for the pet trade and are also hunted for meat. Their skins and body parts are traded for traditional medicine in some Asian countries.
Because of the decline in binturong population, this species has been listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as Vulnerable. This means that the species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
Breeding programme category: ESB
IUCN Red List category: Vulnerable
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