Mystery Animal Photo Wednesday

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 29th, 2009

Yesterday, I saw two of these creatures.

Can you identify this animal?

And can you identify what cryptid this species is most often tied to, as an explanation or source of some sightings?

Have a cup of tea, iced tea, or coffee, and think it over before making a comment.

🙂 Thank You.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

68 Responses to “Mystery Animal Photo Wednesday”

  1. alan responds:

    It’s a Binturong!!!
    AKA: Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat,

    I found it by starting by starting a search for Zoo’s near you, Mr. Coleman, then narrowing down animals I wasn’t familiar with… whether that was the right means to the end or not rests on one question…

    Did you go to: York’s Wild Kingdom yesterday?

  2. krs9864 responds:

    A Southern Asia Binturong?

  3. ambabe90210 responds:

    I’m sure the creature in the photos is a Civet, possibly an Asian Palm Civet.

    As for the Cryptid it’s commonly mistaken for, I’d probably go with a big cat, but it could be something like the Chupacabra, or perhaps the Beast of Gevaudan

  4. Unknown Primate responds:

    My first thought was OTTER. Then I thought, WOLVERINE?
    Anyway, I’m guessing, SEA OTTER, and the cryptid… I dunno, any one of the numerous lake monsters – Nessie, Champ, etc.

  5. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    OMG i never saw that animal before, i don’t know, it’s beautiful.


  6. Thermite responds:

    OK I think we sure its a bearcat or binturong, largest member of the civet family..

    Only thing I can imagine that being confused for is a large black cat, a small bear, lemur or dog/fox canid. Feline seems more likely out of those so I’ll go for black cat of some description ?? Bet it’s wrong though..


  7. WOLVES-TALON responds:

    It is most definitely a Binturong. I spent hours at the exhibit..a couple years ago. And took alot of pictures.
    They are beautiful !

  8. Loren Coleman responds:

    First of all, I said I saw two of these creatures. I did not say it was a “sighting in Maine” of anything cryptid. Merely that I saw two yesterday.

    My viewing took place at the York’s Wild Kingdom Zoo in southern Maine.

    For those that guessed it was a binturong (Arctictis binturong), also called a bearcat, you are correct.

    For the person (you know whom you are) who alluded to the Johor Hominid: Yes, that is the correct cryptid that this animal has been tied to, in the form of an unfortunate mistake where it was stated that the binturong is a primate. It is not. It is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes the linsangs, the genets, most of the civets and the binturong.

    Binturongs are huge for viverrids, and can weigh in at 60 pounds. They are much heavier in zoos.

    Binturongs are the only Old World mammal to have a prehensile tail. While tree kangaroos appear to have prehensile tails, they do not, and their non-prehensile tails merely are used for balance.

    “Sitting down and having a cup of coffee” was an indirect little joking clue because the world’s most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak is made from coffee beans picked from the fecal matter excreted by Indonesian civets, a relative of the binturong. The cost of Kopi Luwak? Around $600 US dollars a pound. Bottoms up.

  9. cryptidsrus responds:

    Came late to the discussion—after your post, Loren…
    But I WAS going to say “Bearcat.” 🙂
    Had no idea what cryptid that was tied to, though.
    Interesting it was tied to the Juhor Hominid.
    Thanks for the Mystery Animal Photo feature. Really enjoy it.

  10. rockinroadkill13 responds:

    Several years ago, Living Treasures animal park in New Castle, PA(just outside of Pittsburgh) got in trouble for selling a binturong to a local family. They kept it in a crate on their front potch. I don’t remember how they got caught(maybe it escaped?), but I do know that somehow Living Treasures still exists. I’ve been there once, and I was disgusted by the conditions the animals lived in. Three Siberian tigers were in dog houses in a 15×15 cage. No room to run. I can’t believe the place wasn’t closed after they were caught illegally selling exotic animals.

  11. Terrell H King responds:

    Saw one of these at the wonderful Colchester zoo over here in the UK.

    Do grow to a fair size in captivity…

    More mystery creatures to guess please!

  12. Martin of Pines responds:

    Yup, definitely a binturong! My 10th grade English class nearly lynched me when I used that in hangman! >.<

  13. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    The Minnesota Zoo has one as well, it shares an enclosure with a Malayan Tapir

  14. Unknown Primate responds:

    WOW! My guess was so far off base! NOBODY else was even in my ballpark, for the actual animal OR my cryptid guess, LOL! This binturong will haunt me tonight.

  15. Unknown Primate responds:

    … and no, I’m not going to repeat my guess.

  16. megalania responds:

    It is a bearcat. Anybody who said they could be related to the black panther is wrong because according to a website they are not related to felines at all, nor bears. I would have to go with the Giant Fossa, since they are related. That was my guess. Hope I’m right.

  17. bluejules1 responds:

    Like Terrell H King earlier I too recognise it from Colchester zoo! Its a Binturong.
    Im not sure about them smelling like popcorn tho…seem to think its one of the smellier enclosure to go by..

  18. clancyryan responds:

    I know who I am!

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