At the Detroit Zoo
Davey, the Zoo’s only binturong, was born in 1993, making him older than most binturongs. Davey can be found in his habitat behind the wolverines, usually sleeping in the tops of the trees, from April to November.
A binturong has the body of a bear and the face of a cat, earning it the nickname “bear cat”. It is covered in long, shaggy black hair with stiff white whiskers on the cheeks and above the eyes. The binturong has a prehensile tail that acts as another limb for climbing and gripping branches. Females are dominant in this species and about 20 percent bigger and heavier than the males.
Scientific name: Arctictis binturong
Continent: Southeast Asia
Habitat: Dense, moist tropical forest
Size: 24 to 36 inches with a 24-inch tail
Weight: 30-60 pounds
Diet: Though classified as a carnivore, the biturong eats mostly fresh fruit and insects.
Reproduction: Gestation of 84 to 92 days; one to six offspring
Lifespan: 15 to 19 years
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Binturongs smell like buttered popcorn. Similar to skunks, the scent is sprayed out of the tail for mating purposes or to warn trespassers.
Binturongs can turn their ankles around backwards so their claws can grip a tree in order to climb down head first.