Binturongs, also known as bearcats, are found in South and Southeast Asia. They have shaggy, dark brown coats, sharp teeth and claws. They spend most of their time climbing and perching in trees.
They look like mask-less raccoons with tufty whiskers and eyebrows. They have low, wide, muscular bodies. They have shaggy, dark brown coats that shade to black on their snouts, limbs and tails. They walk with their feet flat, like bears and humans. A leathery patch on the tip of their strong tail gives them extra traction while climbing. Binturongs are one of two carnivorous species with a prehensile tail (the other is the kinkajou).
Binturongs are also called bearcats but are not closely related to bears or cats. They are in the family Viverridae with other small cat-like mammals, including civets and fossas. They are the only members of the genus Arctic.
Reproduction and Development
Female binturongs are among the species known to exhibit embryonic diapause (or delayed implantation). This means they breed when a mate is available, but the fertilized egg does not attach to the uterine wall until days or months later (making them truly pregnant) when conditions are most favorable. Once a binturong does become pregnant, gestation lasts 90 to 92 days.
Binturongs usually give birth to two babies, called binlets, at a time. They are born with their eyes closed, and they cling to their mother’s fur for the first few days of their lives. They stay with their mother until they are independent — sometimes even longer.