Common Name: Kinkajou
Range: The Kinkajou is an animal that is found mainly in tropical rain forests and semi tropics parts of South and Central America. They usually spent most of their life on trees. They can be found from Mexico to Brazil and Costa Rica. Kinkajou are available is several natural forest reserve and national parks of Costa Rica, such as Corcovado National Park, La Selva, Santa Rosa National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and San Vito.
Size: Kinkajous body length is between 39 and 76 centimeters (15.5 – 30 inches), tail length could be between 39 and 57 centimeters (15.5 – 22.5 inches).
Weight: It is weighing between 1.5 and 4.5 kg (3.25 – 10 lbs). The average weight is about 3 kg.
Diet: They are omnivorous, it diet include fruits such as apples, melons, bananas, figs, grapes, and mango. They also feed sand insects, smaller mammals that they grip with the front feet that have very sharp claws. They drink flower nectar during the dry season. They search for and eat during night and in the morning they go back to the same tree where they have made holes in trees for sleep. They get most of the moisture they necessitate from their foodstuff and they drink water that is available on leaves or in the recess of trees.
Average life span: A kinkajou average life span is about 23 years in captivity but a recorded life in a zoo is 41 years.
Habitat: Kinkajous live in tropical rainforests from southern Mexico to South America. They are private animals and are only active during night. During the day they camouflage in tree concave to avoid the sun light. They are mostly staying in the tree canopy and rarely come to the ground. Kinkajous always live in big family groups in the highest part of the tree tops that is called the canopy, and they share life with each other in a social way.
Breeding/Reproduction: Kinkajous breed all through the year, mostly during summer and having a gestation period of 98 to 120 days will give birth to 1, rarely 2, baby that are born in a tree hole. The young grow and develop very fast and on the second month, it can hang from its own tail upside down. Mothers are caring of their little’s and carry them everywhere on her stomach. The young Kinkajou males reach sexual maturity at eighteen months and females between 2 and 3 years of age.
Close relatives: The kinkajou is closely related to the raccoon and coatis family of North America.
Costa Rica is home to some of the most spectacular biodiversity in the world. The Central American country has played the role of a bridge between the two large continents of North and South America for over 4 million years. This played a major role in bringing a copious amount of biodiversity to this relatively small country. In fact almost 4% of all species worldwide lie in Costa Rica. Among this resides the kinkajou, a mostly arboreal and nocturnal mammal, also known as the honey bear. They can be seen in the natural reserves and national parks of Costa Rica such as Corcovado National Park, Santa Rosa National Park, Aviarios del Caribe, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Sirena Biological Station and several other places.
The kinkajou, found in Central and South American rain-forests, are of the family Procyonedae which are closely related to raccoons and coatis. They are also known as “honey bear” thanks to their looks and liking for honey. These mammals will spend most of their time, away from activity, in the upper branches of some forest tree. Anatomically, the kinkajou has a very flexible and versatile tail. Like most monkeys, they can use their tail for grasping, hanging and other activities. In fact, their likeness to monkeys, led early researchers to believe them to be a species of primates! The kinkajou also have hands which are very like ours, enabling them to efficiently hold on the branches or pick fruits. They also have a long and narrow tongue which lets them drink honey from flowers.
The kinkajous are beneficial to many plants. They tend to move around a lot, dispersing seeds they had consumed before over a wide area. They also help pollinate flowers as they tend to get pollen all over their faces when they drink honey. The kinkajous have been hunted by humans for a long time, for their soft meat and pelts. They are also commonly held as pets and are captured for sale. Fortunately, the kinkajous are widely found in the American rain-forests, and are in no danger of being endangered.