The Kinkajou
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The Kinkajou

The Kinkajou (Potos flavus) is the only member of the genus “Potos”. Generally Kinkajou is known as the “honey bear”, “sugar bear” or “cat monkey”. It is a member of the raccoon family (Procyonidae), and lives in South America. It likes both the tropical jungles and the high, cold mountains. It has strange tastes.

The Kinkajou (Potos flavus) is the only member of the genus “Potos”. Generally Kinkajou is known as the “honey bear”, “sugar bear” or “cat monkey”. It is a member of the raccoon family (Procyonidae), and lives in South America. It likes both the tropical jungles and the high, cold mountains. It has strange tastes.

They are arboreal (living in or among trees), live in holes in trees and stay in the forest canopy, seldom descending to the forest floor. They are found in a variety of habitats, from mature tropical forests to heavily disturbed and secondary forests. Kinkajous are extremely agile and fast, traveling quickly along the tree tops, jumping noisily from tree to tree. As nocturnal (most active at night) creatures, the kinkajou sleeps during the day in tree hollows or leaves to avoid all contact with sunlight and look for food at night. It can swim as well as it can climb. It is a quiet little animal but if it’s attacked, it defends itself well. It has very sharp claws and teeth.

The kinkajou is about the same size as a cat. It has thick ginger fur, round ears and big, round eyes. It’s an attractive animal. Its tail is as long as its head and body together. This tail is prehensile and it has strong muscles that can be used for holding things.

Many kinkajous have been caught and tamed. They make good pets but if kinkajous are angry, they become very fierce. Their personality tends to be playful and curious, and they are generally tame. However, some owners report that they are suddenly attacked  by their kinkajous.

Although kinkajous are evolutionarily derived from meat-eating ancestors, they are primarily omnivorous, eating both animal and vegetable food. Although 90% of their diet consists of fruits but they also consume invertebrates, small mammals, eggs, leaves, honey and nectar. They use their incredibly long tongues (around six inches long) to collect nectar and to get honey from bee hives. When collecting nectar the kinkajou turns upside down, on its side or on its back so not to lose any of the fruit juice. While doing this the creature also collects pollen on its face, making them the only carnivore that is also an important pollinator. They also use their clawed hands to pluck and eat fruit and in the dry season of Belize they often eat flowers for their nectar.

Kinkajou's that are raised in or around homes can be found to like drinking alcohol. Sometimes they become drunk and can be very dangerous. In jungle towns, kinkajous are known to visit the bars. They climb over the roof and drop down, to steal a drink. The customer is rather surprised when a small animal steals his glass. Kinkajous are better off in the jungle away from temptation.

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Comments (3)

Well this is sure a cute, interesting little guy. Thanks.

very inteersting... well presented

Great feature about kinkajou, thank you.

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