Wild Tracks

On behalf of the world's wild species

Walking The Binturong

A few years ago, I signed up to be a volunteer docent at our local zoo. We got to do a lot of wonderful things on our shifts – recording animal behavior, talking to kids about animals, exercising animals and even taking some animals to nursing homes.

One of our favorite animals to take to hospitals and nursing homes was a Binturong, or bear cat. Her name was Sarah, and her mission in life was to keep us on our toes. She was fond of sitting upright in a wheelchair while being pushed through the wards, looking for all the world like she should be giving a graceful wave to her supplicants.

No one we visited was familiar with a Binturong, and Sarah created a great deal of excitement wherever she went. She was also extraordinarily fond of apples, which the residents and staff were always giving her.

I’ve just come across this video from Cincinnati Zoo, where a staff member is exercising a Binturong out among the visitors. It made me miss Sarah all over again, but brought back some wonderful memories!

You can learn more about Binturongs on The Carnivore Preservation Trust website.

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