Binturong

Binturong at Wingham Wildlife Park, Kent

Binturong Natural History

Size

The average length of a binturong is around 60 inches (152 cm), with just under half of this being made up with their tail. Their weight is around 48 lbs (22 kg) and females are usually larger than males.

Habitat and Distribution

This is an Asian species which is widespread in the forests of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and China.

Age

The average lifespan of a binturong is around 20 years. Although, they can live for longer in captivity.

Diet

This omnivore takes advantage of a diet spanning across insects, birds, eggs, reptiles, carrion, mammals and fruits.

Groups and Breeding

Not a huge amount is known about their natural lives on a day to day basis. Whilst they are often observed on their own in the wild, they are known to live together in captivity and communicate using a wide variety of techniques. These include using vocalisations and tail movements, which suggests that they are relatively social animals.

Threats

Binturongs are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN and their numbers are decreasing. The most major threat for this animal is loss of habitat. However, it is also hunted for the pet trade and for bush meat.

Interesting facts

This species is also known as a bearcat (although, they aren’t related to bears or cats) and are one of only two carnivores which have a prehensile tail, the other being a kinkajou. However, only around the last third of the tail is prehensile and is used both as a 5th limb when climbing as well as during communication.

The Binturongs During Your Day Out in Kent

Two binturongs joined the Wingham Wildlife Park in 2018, one male and one female. They live with our two Asian short clawed otters Jill and Tambo in our little Himalaya exhibit behind the dinosaur zoo.