The body of the binturong is long and heavy, with short, stout legs. It has a thick fur of strong black hair. The bushy and prehensile tail is thick at the root, gradually diminishing in size to the extremity, where it curls inwards. The muzzle is short and pointed, somewhat turned up at the nose, and is covered with bristly hairs, brown at the points, which lengthen as they diverge, and form a peculiar radiated circle round the face.
The eyes are large, black and prominent. The ears are short, rounded, edged with white, and terminated by tufts of black hair. There are six short rounded incisors in each jaw, two canines, which are long and sharp, and six molars on each side. The hair on the legs is short and of a yellowish tinge. The feet are five-toed, with large strong claws; the soles are bare, and applied to the ground throughout the whole of their length; the hind ones are longer than the fore. [credits: Wikipedia]
The common brushtail possum has large and pointed ears. It has a bushy tail (hence its name) that is adapted to grasping branches, prehensile at the end with a hairless ventral patch. Its forefeet have sharp claws and the first toe of each hind foot is clawless but has a strong grasp. The possum grooms itself with the third and fourth toes which are fused together. It has a thick and woolly pelage that varies in colour depending on the subspecies. Colour patterns tend to be silver-gray, brown, black, red or cream. The ventral areas are typically lighter and the tail is usually brown or black. The muzzle is marked with dark patches.
The common brushtail possum has a head and body length of 32–58 cm with a tail length of 24–40 cm. It weighs 1.2-4.5 kg. Males are generally larger than females. In addition, the coat of the male tends to be reddish at the shoulders. As with most marsupials, the female brushtail possum has a forward-opening, well-developed pouch. The chest of both sexes has a scent gland that emits a reddish secretion which stains that fur around it. It marks its territory with these secretions. [credits: Wikipedia]
fun facts >
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Procyon lotor
most common location: USA and Canada
CONSERVATION STATUS: Least Concern
The raccoon (Procyon lotor), is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. The raccoon is the largest of the procyonid family, having a body length of 40 to 70 cm (16 to 28 in) and a body weight of 3.5 to 9 kg (8 to 20 lb). Its grayish coat mostly consists of dense underfur which insulates it against cold weather. Two of the raccoon’s most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and its facial mask, which are themes in the mythology of several Native American ethnic groups. Raccoons are noted for their intelligence, with studies showing that they are able to remember the solution to tasks for up to three years. The diet of the omnivorous raccoon, which is usually nocturnal, consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods, and 27% vertebrates.
The original habitats of the raccoon are deciduous and mixed forests, but due to their adaptability they have extended their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and urban areas, where some homeowners consider them to be pests. As a result of escapes and deliberate introductions in the mid-20th century, raccoons are now also distributed across mainland Europe, Caucasia, and Japan.
Though previously thought to be solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in gender-specific social behavior. Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season, and other potential invaders. Home range sizes vary anywhere from 3 hectares (7.4 acres) for females in cities to 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) for males in prairies. After a gestation period of about 65 days, two to five young, known as “kits”, are born in spring. The kits are subsequently raised by their mother until dispersal in late fall. Although captive raccoons have been known to live over 20 years, their life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years. In many areas, hunting and vehicular injury are the two most common causes of death. [Credit: Wikipedia]
The raccoon dog, also known as the mangut or tanuki, is a canid indigenous to East Asia. It is the only extant species in the genus Nyctereutes. It is considered a basal canid species, resembling ancestral forms of the family.
Among the Canidae, the raccoon dog shares the habit of regularly climbing trees only with the North American gray fox, another basal species. The raccoon dog is named for its superficial resemblance to the raccoon (Procyon lotor), to which it is not closely related.
Native East Asian raccoon dog populations have declined in recent years due to hunting, fur trade, urbanization, the increase of animals associated with human civilization (such as pets and abandoned animals) and diseases that may be transmitted between them. Following its introduction into central and western Europe, however, it has been treated as a potentially hazardous invasive species. [credits: Wikipedia]
During the hour long experience, you’ll start by 2 out of 3 possible animal (Raccoon, Raccoon Dogs or Brush Tailed Possum) before finally meeting Rey our titular Binturong.
The first animals you may meet are our Raccoon or Raccoon Dogs – these fantastic animals are not at all related but share similar looks. With both these animals you’ll be invited to either stroke or hand feed them.
The other animal you may meet is Leena our friendly Brush Tailed Possum. Brush Tailed Possums come from Australia and New Zealand. Leena is always happy to be hand fed or stroked but during her breeding season can get a bit grumpy so will be left off experiences (this tends to be one week out of every month).
You’ll finish the experience with Rey and Chewie the Binturongs. These fantastic animals from Indonesia are unbelievably friendly and love a good bit of rough and tumble if they’re in the mood. However, you will be invited to both hand feed and stroke them.
Please be aware that as our animals welfare is of utmost importance and we are privileged to be able to get so close to these species – we will not force our animals to do anything against their nature and all interaction is done on their terms.