I recently got to see Khi, the binturong, during a training session with Maureen. It’s always a joy to see the keepers working with their animals!
Khi is so cute, with his whiskered face! There’s something whimsical about binturongs - I just love the long black tufts of fur behind those little round ears. Sometimes called bearcats, though not related to bears or cats, they look a little like both. They are native to forests of Southeast Asia, and are skilled climbers, moving cautiously through tree branches with the help of a prehensile tail that is almost as long as their body. They never leap, but slowly climb up and down trees, able to move confidently on top of branches, or even upside-down, beneath them, using semi-retractable claws and a leathery patch at the tip of their tail to grip branches. They are even capable of rotating their hind feet backwards while climbing down a tree head-first. And they smell good, too! Their scent glands emit a fragrance very much like buttered popcorn.
Binturongs are pretty cool, and Khi is one of the coolest!
Keywords:Binturong, San Diego Zoo