Binturong (Arctictis binturong) is an arboreal animal having thick, black fur; a long, muscular tail, and long, stiff, white whiskers.

Binturong spends the majority of the day curled in branches in the treetops and basking in the sun. It communicates with each other by scent. The animal walks upside down hanging from branches with the use of tail. The tail is nearly as long as the body (56-89 cm). It is also used as a brake when running head first down a tree, like a squirrel. The curved claws are used for holding on to uneven surfaces on the trees. The well-developed pads on the bottom of the paws help it run on the branches of trees.

Binturong is a slow-moving and relatively inoffensive animal. Diet consists of both plant and animal matter. Binturongs eat carrion, rodents, eggs, birds, bananas, melon, grapes, apples, oranges, carrots and cooked sweet potatoes. The keen sense of smell, good vision and hearing are its main defense.

The animal can be seen in the Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary, Sikkim.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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