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Smells like popcorn! Really!

What has a face a cat, a body like a small bear, a tail like a monkey and smells like buttered popcorn? It’s a binturong, also known as a bearcat. Binturongs have long, low, stocky bodies covered with coarse, shaggy black fur tipped in gray, so they sometimes appear speckled. Long ear tufts protrude from their small, rounded ears. Their faces have slightly lighter fur and stiff, white whiskers that can reach up to 8 inches long and they can grow to be 2-to-3 feet long. Binturongs live in the dense tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and are currently classified as vulnerable, with populations declining more than 30 percent over the past 30 years. The main threats to binturongs are habitat destruction, hunting and the wildlife trade. As for the popcorn smell, the binturong has scent glands, which are located just under its tail. As it moves, the binturong drags its tail, marking branches and foliage in its territory. To humans, the smell is reminiscent of buttered popcorn, but to other binturongs it communicates that the area is occupied and they should move along. It can also help male and female binturongs find each other when they want to mate! To see a video of this unusual animal, click here:


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