Also known as the binturong, the bearcat (Arctitis binturong) is agile like a cat in the canopy and less adept on
Baby bearcat

Born June 8, 2011 at the Cincinnati Zoo

ground, walking flat-footed like a bear. However, it is neither a bear nor a cat, but belongs to the civet and mongoose family. Spending most of its time in the trees, it slowly and skillfully walks along branches at night while foraging for fruit and small animals.

Curling its prehensile tail around a tree limb, the bearcat pulls fruiting branches to its mouth with its forepaws. As it climbs down a tree headfirst, the bearcat turns its ankles so it can still grip the trunk with its claws. The bearcat has a very distinctive odor; it smells like hot popcorn!

Although it is classified as a carnivore, the bearcat primarily eats fruit.A bearcat eats a fig, travels a ways, then passes the seeds out the other end, helping fig trees grow in new places.


  • Length: 2 to 3.2 ft
  • Weight: 17 to 31 lbs
  • Lifespan: Up to 18 yrs in wild
  • Range: Southeast Asia
  • Habitat: Tropical and subtropical forest
  • Diet: Fruits, leaves, and small animals
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