Conservation Status: VULNERABLE
More commonly known as the “Bearcat”, Binturongs appear as if they were born from combining a cat’s face, a small bear’s body, and a monkey’s tail.
These funny-looking creatures have long, low, stocky bodies covered with black fur tipped in gray, which makes them appear speckled. Their faces have slightly lighter fur and stiff, white whiskers. Also, its tail is prehensile and almost as long as its body.
However, it is not only the physical characteristic that makes the Binturong interesting. In fact, its name “Binturong” and nickname “Bearcat” add another unique layer to this species. The Binturong is related neither to the bear nor the cat and the true meaning of the word “Binturong” comes from an extinct language, which contributes to the mysterious character of this beast.
Binturongs inhabit the dense tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and hard to spot in the wild. They’re currently labeled as vulnerable and their populations have been declining by more than 30 percent over the past 30 years. The main threats to binturongs are habitat destruction, hunting, and the wildlife trade.
- “Arctictis Binturong (Bearcat, Binturong)”. Iucnredlist.Org, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/41690/0.
- Bates, Mary. “The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About The Binturong (Or, How Can It Binturong When It Feels So Right?)”. WIRED, 2013, https://www.wired.com/2013/10/the-creature-feature-10-fun-facts-about-the-binturong-or-how-can-it-binturong-when-it-feels-so-right/.