MYSTERIOUS NEIGHBOURS

Binturong - mysterious neighbour
Our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team recently searched for orangutans at Puncak Leke in the Kehje Sewen Forest when they caught sight of an unidentified animal. They looked closely at the curious creature and noticed it was rolled up with its head tucked into its body. What was it?

For about an hour, our team waited for the animal to move or change its position so that they could see its face. Finally, they captured a picture of the animal’s face, its body length, and the slightly curved shape of its paws – and could identify it. The animal in question was a binturong (Artictis binturong). 

Binturongs are nocturnal and mostly active at night. However, some researchers have found they are also active during the day. This large civet-like animal, referred to as a ‘bearcat’, is an omnivore and opportunistic eater that survives on almost anything in the forest: plant shoots and leaves, fruit, eggs, birds, fish, small invertebrates, and small rodents.

The numbers of binturongs have declined by more than 30 per cent over the last 30 years

Unique physical features
The binturong is endemic to Southeast Asia. In Indonesia. We find it in Sumatra, Java, and Kalimantan. On the island of Borneo, the binturong lives in lowland and hilly areas, as well as in upstream areas, including around the Kapuas and Mahakam rivers. The binturong has several unique physical features, such as a tail that can function as a fifth limb to grab tree branches and a ‘fake penis’ (
pseudo-penis) appendage in females of the species.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the binturong as a species ‘vulnerable to extinction’, as its numbers have declined by more than 30 per cent over the last 30 years due to poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) also includes the binturong in its Appendix III list. In Indonesia, this species is protected by Regulation 7 of 1999, pertaining to the preservation of flora and fauna. 

To preserve the binturong and prevent many other threatened species from becoming lost to this world forever, we, as a society, must help support the Indonesian and global protection efforts as best we can.

While protecting orangutans, we safeguard other wildlife sharing the same habitat. We are grateful for any support you can provide.

How Can You Help

There are lots of ways you can support orangutans and help ensure the survival of this precious ape.

Adopt an Orangutan

Adopt an Orangutan

Orangutans are endangered and at risk of extinction. Habitat destruction means hundreds of orphan orangutans need to care for every year. You can help by adopting one. Their dedicated ‘nannies’ teach them everything they need to know for when it’s time to release them back to the wild. You can follow their progress through Forest School.

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Make a Donation

Please help the Orangutans in their struggle for survival. Your donation is important and goes directly to BOS Indonesia. By donating, you are helping bring this noble yet endangered species back from the brink of extinction and on a path to freedom - from rescue to rehabilitation and release.

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The perfect gift for any occasion! Choose from our selection of instant gifts that directly support our orangutans. You can buy a wheelbarrow, provide food for an orangutan for two months or lots more. You will receive a certificate, personalised with the name of your choice - perfect gift for you or a friend.

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