Scientific Name: Potos flavus
The Kinkajou is a carnivore found in the area of Southern Mexico through the Southeastern part of Brazil. This creature is often mistaken as a primate; however, the Kinkajou is a mammal from the family Procyonidae— a relative to racoons, olingos, and coatis.
This animal spends most of its time in the highest parts of the tropical forests where it feeds of fruits and occasionally other small mammals. This furred creature is a fan of honey and uses its 5-inch-long tongue to extract it from bee hives. Because of this, the Kinkajou has earned the name Honey Bear. Additionally, the Kinkajous are a keystone animal to the rainforest as they act as pollinators; when extracting nectar from flowers, pollen sticks to their face and smears off to the next flower— promoting the well-being of the ecosystem.
Kinkajous are one of the two carnivore species that have a prehensile tail. This tail helps them balance, hang from trees and serves as a cozy blanket while they sleep (adorable!).
Although they have a poor, colour-blind vision, these mammals have an excellent sense of smell and touch. Smell glands are found on their belly, their throat, and the sides of their jaws; this aids them on their night-time hunting ventures as they’re not fond of sunlight (like many of us….).
Another peculiar characteristic of these species is their ability to turn their feet backwards while maintaining their agility to escape predators. Kinkajous can run at a normal speed, move from branch to branch, and go up or down tree trunks whilst their feet are facing back. Cool, and a bit creepy…
Honey Bears independent creatures in the sense that they do most of their activities in solitude; however, they participate in reciprocal grooming, group denning (sleeping together in tree holes), and at times they travel in groups.
Falling in love with Kinkajous? We are too! So come visit us at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel for a closer view of these lovable creatures!