Our iconic Aussie is in danger. Please help us keep them around forever.

Donate Now
Zoo location: 
Scientific Name: 
Arctictis binturong
Species class: 
Population Trend: 
Quick Facts

Lifespan: 14-22 years

Size: Body length - 61-96cms; Tail length -56-89cms

Weight: 20 kgs 

Fun Facts

Popcorn Scent: They smell like popcorn! This scent comes from a scent gland under their tails. They will produce this scent to attract mates and to warn off other binturongs. Both the males and females secrete this scent. They use their hind feet to rub the scent on their legs and have glands on all 4 paws.

Climbing: The binturong’s tail is as long as its body, and extremely strong. They can lay across branches with all four feet dangling over the sides and balance.

Communication: Binturongs also make lots of noises to communicate, from a happy ‘chuckling’ to a wail, a snort, a grunt and a howl.

Largest Civet: Despite often being called a ‘bear cat’, it is neither! Rather, binturongs are related to other civets and are the largest civet in the world. They are related to meerkats. 

The Binturong is a viverrid native to Southeast Asia, with a distinctive long, black body and bushy tail.

At Taronga:

At Taronga Zoo we have 4 Binturongs: one female named Pepper (DOB: 1991), a male named Emas (DOB: 1999), and their cubs; males Baru (DOB: 2007) and Sari (DOB: 2008).

Pepper and Emas were both originally from Singapore zoo. They were introduced in May 2006 for breeding; however Pepper was not keen – chasing Emas away from her and their food. He soon won her over, and they mated 3 weeks after their introduction. They still live together and have had 4 litters together however due to Pepper’s age she will no longer breed

Baru, despite keeper’s best efforts, used to often go for a midnight wander. He now lives in the cat house in between the lions and tigers in a fully enclosed exhibit so that we can keep an eye on him at all times. The boys’ escape behaviour is very natural- at around 12- 18 months of age Binturongs leave the family unit to find a mate of their own.

Year assessed: