Known to be tame when hand-raised, binturongs have often been kept as pets. They are frequently used as program animals. They may also live to be 22 years old when raised in captivity. These strange animals also smell like freshly popped popcorn!
Status in the Wild
Binturongs are sexually dimorphic (with two distinct gender forms): females are up to 20% larger than males. They have long, coarse, shiny black fur often tipped with gray, yellow, or cream, while their whiskers and the edges of their ears are white with long black tufts of hair. Their particularly muscular tail is usually longer than their body and is prehensile (has the ability to grasp) at the tip. Their cheek teeth are flat to crush the fruit they eat.
Binturongs are uncommon or rare throughout much of their range and are faced with the threat of habitat loss or impairment due to increasing amounts of Southeast Asian rain forests being cleared to farm palm oil. Hunting for food, the pet trade, and medicinal markets threatens binturongs as well.