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They DO smell like popcorn!

Bears, Hyena, Sloths, Binturongs, Red Panda, Fossa, Seals etc.

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Ash
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They DO smell like popcorn!

Postby Ash » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:21 pm

I was able to meet a binturong yesterday and interact with him. He was a well-socialized, trained binturong at a facility in Nevada I had the privilege of visiting and volunteering at.

First of all, YES. They do smell like popcorn! I was smelling my hands for the next six hours on the drive home. It smelled like I'd been to a movie theater. I always doubted when people said they smelled like this, but they do indeed smell exactly like that! I could smell a binturong all day!

He was very friendly (keep in mind he has been raised and trained) and enjoyed being around his handler as well as strangers. I was able to sit beside him on a bench, and he laid his head down in my lap and enjoyed scratches behind his neck and ears. Their fur is VERY coarse, and also feels a little greasy-ish (but not in a way that was too noticeable).

Their claws are sharp! Apparently this guy's claws had been clipped the day before, but that didn't stop them from being poky. He tried to climb up my chest and arm once or twice, so I was able to feel how sharp they were. They reminded me of my foxes' claws, except way bigger and stronger. His paws felt powerful.

His tail was super thick like you see in pictures. At first, I thought it may have been a lot of fur making it look that way, but when I felt his tail, it was all muscle. A long rope-like muscle.

It was a hot day, so he was panting, and this made him look like he had a big goofy smile. Their mouths are solid pink on their all-black bodies, and their white whiskers are very expressive! He would make funny noises that sounded like breathy grunts, but I don't know what that meant. He seemed to do it when he was "annoyed," like if his handler was making him move to a spot that he didn't want to move to. But I can't say with any certainty that's what the sound meant.

He LOVED his bananas! Even when offered a rat and a chick, he still wanted to go back to eat his bananas. It was really cute. When he chewed the bananas up, he made a mess. But by the time he was done, everything had been licked up and cleaned.

The facility had three binturongs. This was the only one that was well-socialized, and therefore trained. He was also the bigger of the two subspecies, I was told. The two others were of the smaller subspecies (though they still looked big to me, and I didn't notice a big size difference or anything). The keepers inferred that the larger subspecies was naturally more friendly, but never said so directly, so not sure if that's true or if that was just accidentally implied.

I will be going back to the facility next month to volunteer again! I hope to be able to work up to the point that they will trust me to go into the binturong enclosures. I would like to see what those other two are like.

Anyway, it was a great. The more exotic experience I can get, the better. And since binturongs are a certainty on my list of animals to acquire, this will only help me learn as much as I can about these wonderful animals.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
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Re: They DO smell like popcorn!

Postby Vata Raven » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:08 pm

Ash wrote:First of all, YES. They do smell like popcorn!

That is a random thing to smell like. What causes them to give off a buttered popcorn scent?
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Re: They DO smell like popcorn!

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:33 pm

https://today.duke.edu/2016/04/popcornscentedbinturong

I pet one once but just a tiny bit with my finger was young and sleeping and hissed and showed it's teeth at me.

Glad it went so well, Ash.
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Re: They DO smell like popcorn!

Postby Ash » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:23 am

Thanks for the link, TG. Very interesting to read why they smell that way. :)

And thanks! I'm excited to go back!
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
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Re: They DO smell like popcorn!

Postby TexasYankee » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:55 pm

That is awesome and sounds adorable.

I'd thought a binturong was an animal I might want someday, but those sharp claws sound like an argument against it.

Also, there's a facility dedicated solely to binturongs? Not civets in general, just binturongs?
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Re: They DO smell like popcorn!

Postby Ash » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:54 pm

I believe Chasing-tail has a lot of binturongs, but there's no facility that I'm aware of that only has binturongs. That would be super cool though.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
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Re: They DO smell like popcorn!

Postby TexasYankee » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:57 pm

From what you said it sounded like this place only did binturongs, but I take it I misinterpreted you?
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Re: They DO smell like popcorn!

Postby Ash » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:27 pm

Yeah, sorry I wasn't clear. The facility had all sorts of animals, but binturongs were the highlight of the trip for us for sure. It was awesome. We're planning to go back in a couple weeks, so I'll be able to see them again. :)
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas

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