Binturongs spend most of their time in the trees, but they usually have to climb down to get from tree to tree. Padded paws and long claws help them grasp branches. Binturongs can turn their ankles 180 degrees so their claws can still grip when climbing down a tree headfirst.
Binturongs can swim fairly well and have good vision day or night, and so can be active at any hour they choose. They generally sleep during the day high in the forest canopy and love to bask in the sun. Binturongs are primarily nocturnal and move slowly through their home in the trees to look for fruit.
- The binturong is the only Old World mammal and one of only two carnivores with a prehensile tail (the other is the kinkajou).
- Binturongs are also called bearcats, but that name is rather misleading since these animals are not related to bears OR cats. Instead, they are related to civets and fossas.
- They smell like a freshly made batch of popcorn!
- The real meaning of the word binturong is lost now, as the local language that used it is extinct.