Do you know a strange animal called binturong, which smells like popcorn?
Binturong is a kind of animal called civet, which lives in India and Southeast Asia.Some people have never heard of binturong, but it is also an animal with many hidden fans.
In this article, let’s take a look at what features and secrets binturong has and how it lives!
～ Basic information. ～
Binturong is a kind of civet that lives in India and Southeast Asia. The characteristics of binturong are that its body color is black all over, and that it has a very long tail for its body.
It also looks like a bear or a raccoon dog at first glance, but it is a member of the civet family and has a scent gland that secretes a unique smelling substance from its anus.
Binturong is the largest among the civet family, and usually females are larger than males. It is also nocturnal and active at night, living in forests alone or in small groups.
Binturong reaches sexual maturity at about 27 months for males and 30 months for females, and can breed. The gestation period of females is about 90 days, and they give birth to 2-4 babies at a time.
Where does the name binturong come from?
The name binturong means “cat-like bear” in Malay. By the way, the scientific name of binturong is “Arctictis binturong”, and it is also sometimes called “Bearcat” as another name.
Why does binturong live there?
Binturong lives in the forests of northeastern India and Southeast Asia.
It is not clear why binturong lives around Southeast Asia at this point. But it is thought that Southeast Asia was a place where there was plenty of food and easy to live for the civet family, as there are many civet relatives living around Southeast Asia.
What are binturong eating?
Binturong is an omnivorous animal that prefers plant matter, and fruits (mainly figs) are its staple food. But not only fruits, but also insects, birds, and sometimes small animals and birds.
In zoos, they seem to be given fruits (oranges, bananas, strawberries, apples, etc.), steamed sweet potatoes and carrots, meat (chicken, horse meat, chicks, etc.).
What kind of personality is binturong?
Binturong is said to be very calm and friendly. In zoos, they often get used to the keepers and approach them or ride on their shoulders.
Is it true that binturong smells like popcorn?
Binturong is a member of the civet family and has an organ called a scent gland around its anus.
Binturong has a habit of rubbing the smell from its scent gland on trees and other things to claim its territory, but the smell is very fragrant and many people feel that it smells like popcorn with a little bit of animal smell.
And some people get addicted to the smell and want to sniff it!
Actually, binturong’s urine contains a substance called “2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2-AP)”, which is the source of the good smell of freshly made popcorn.
It’s funny and interesting to think that popcorn and binturong have the same smell, isn’t it?
The civet family basically has odor glands, but the smell varies greatly depending on the animal species.By the way, the secretions emitted from the odor glands of civet cats are also useful as raw materials for perfumes and herbal medicines.
Is it true that binturong is good at climbing trees?
Wild binturongs are good at climbing trees and live mostly on the trees.
Their thick and long tails are thought to help them balance on the trees. In fact, they can wrap the tip of their tail around objects, which allows them to move while grabbing branches. Their claws are also hook-shaped, which are thought to help them climb trees.
Although binturongs live mostly on the trees, they sometimes come down to the ground or enter the water.
Can binturong be kept as a pet?
When breeding rare animals at home, it is necessary to follow the established laws in some countries. This time, we will introduce whether binturong can be bred at home in Japan.
Binturong is classified as a “vulnerable species (VC)” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and Annex III under the Washington Convention as “requiring the cooperation of other States Parties for regulation and enforcement in its own country.
Due to the CITES regulations, importing binturongs from overseas to Japan requires many permits and documents from both the exporting country and Japan.
Therefore, importing binturongs is not impossible, but it takes a lot of effort and a large amount of money (at least over one million yen).
If you are prepared for all that, it is possible to obtain binturongs and keep them as pets.
Is there a place in Japan where I can see binturong?
Binturongs are kept in zoos such as Kochi Prefectural Noichi Zoological Park in Kochi Prefecture, Fukuoka City Zoo in Fukuoka Prefecture, and Kobe Animal Kingdom in Hyogo Prefecture.
At Kochi Prefectural Noichi Zoological Park and Kobe Animal Kingdom, they have breeding records, so you might be able to see baby binturongs if you are lucky.
What is binturong’s lifespan?
The lifespan of binturongs is estimated to be about 15 to 20 years. They tend to live relatively long, and the longest lifespan recorded in captivity is said to be 27 years.
What enemies does binturong have?
It is said that the natural predators of binturongs are carnivorous animals such as tigers, leopards, large birds of prey and snakes. Especially when they are young, they are often preyed upon by predators.
But for binturong, our greatest enemy is us humans.
Binturongs are losing their population gradually due to poaching for their fur or as pets, and deforestation of their habitat.
Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done directly to protect binturongs by anyone other than the local stakeholders.
However, as a first step towards environmental conservation, it might be good to start with small things such as using eco-friendly paper products that are made with consideration for forest resources.