The coatimundi ("coati" for
short) is a member of the raccoon family and is native to Central and South America. The exact origin of the name
"coatimundi" is not clear, though, it is thought that it resembles something from the Tupi language of
The coatimundi resembles the
raccoon in behavior, however, its nose and tail resemble a large possum. A coati can grow up to 2½ ft long
including their 1foot tail. Males, generally are twice the size of females.
There are 5 known species of coatimundi. Only two of these
five species reside in the Central American country of Belize. The different species of coatimundi are set apart by
size, color and their respective geographical habitats.
Coatis are omnivorous meaning that they eat meat along with
fruits and vegetables. A coatimundis diet consists mainly of invertebrates such as bugs and worms along with fruits
and roots. Coatis are also known to eat small lizards, rodents, birds, and bird's eggs.
The life span of a coatimundi is 7 to 8 years in
the wild. However, in captivity such as in a zoo, or when kept as a pet, if taken care of properly, the life span
can double, up to 15 plus years.
Keeping a coatimundi as a pet can be very tricky, though not
impossible. Many people in Central and South America keep coatis as pets; being a very intelligent animal, some can
even be toilet trained. However, due to a coatis wild nature and its fierce fighting capabilities when provoked, a
house cat might be the better choice for a pet.
Remember when visiting wildlife in their natural habitat leave
nothing but your footprints and take nothing except your photos and most importantly, your