Binturong Attacks Keeper

Sheila Allen/Creative Commons

Below is a muckraking news report about a woman attacked by a captive binturong, or bearcat. The binturong is yet another animal unlikely to ever hurt a person except in captivity. I'm assuming a lot of readers have never heard of this animal, so here's the lowdown:


Closest relatives: The civets...which probably doesn't tell you much. These form one of the more primitive lines of the carnivorids. 

Size: A body 2-3 feet long, with the tail adding another two or three feet. 


Diet: Mostly herbivorous, though it will take eggs and insects. 


Freakiest feature: A prehensile tail, like that of some monkeys. 


As a carnivorid, it's equipped with biting gear:




But, as you can see, the teeth are rather fine. It is unlikely to inflict life-threatening wounds. 


9 comments:

  1. There was a tame binturong being handled in the movie "We Bought A Zoo."

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  2. Those must be some really huge housecats and racoons you have there :D The binturongs in the local zoo are much bigger than any of them, although all that fur does add to the apparent size.

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  3. Natan--I had never heard of this movie. I may have to take a look!

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  4. Croco--I'm digging out my Walker's Mammals. . .

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  5. Croconut,I'm finding conflicting info on the size of wild binturongs, but most of it agrees with what you've seen in the zoo. For example, one source lists 13kg as a small size for a binturong, which would be massive for a raccoon. Thanks for the save. I'll revise the text above.

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  6. I finally got hold of a copy of Walker's Mammals (an authoritative source for most mammal matters) and it gives the weight range as 9-14 kg (about 20-31 lbs).

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  7. Everyone seems to have that book except me. Curse Mexican libraries! You only find self-motivation books nowadays. And Twilight.

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  8. I'm not touching Twilight. Tracy tried it and I had to listen to months of complaining afterward.

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  9. Wise man. I started reading the first one and couldn´t make it past the second chapter XD

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