Bearcat (Binturong)

Arctitis binturong

Also known as the binturong, the bearcat is agile like a cat in the canopy and less adept on ground, walking flat-footed like a bear. However, it is neither a bear nor a cat, but belongs to the civet and mongoose family. Spending most of its time in the trees, it slowly and skillfully walks along branches at night while foraging for fruit and small animals.

More info

Curling its prehensile tail around a tree limb, the bearcat pulls fruiting branches to its mouth with its forepaws. As it climbs down a tree headfirst, the bearcat turns its ankles so it can still grip the trunk with its claws.

  • The bearcat has a very distinctive odor; it smells like hot popcorn!
  • Although it is classified as a carnivore, the bearcat primarily eats fruit.
  • A bearcat eats a fig, travels a ways, then passes the seeds out the other end, helping fig trees grow in new places.

Fact File

Species @ Risk Image
where to see themWhere to see them: Night Hunters
lengthLength: 2 to 3.2 ft
weightWeight: 17 to 31 lbs
lifespanLifespan: Up to 18 yrs in wild
habitatHabitat: Tropical and subtropical forest
dietDiet: Fruits, leaves, and small animals
exclamationRisk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN-Vulnerable)