Status: Least concern
Range & Habitat
Coatis inhabit areas in Mexico, Central America to West Columbia, Ecuador, and the Southwestern United States, mainly Arizona. Coatis are able to live in a variety of habitats and elevations, including jungle, forests, grasslands and desert. They will often stay around trees or rocky canyons.
The coati is a raccoon-like animal and is considered a long snouted, grizzled-brown or rust colored invader with white spots above and below each eye. They have a long, ringed tail, which is usually carried high in the air and is used for balance when climbing and as a prop when standing. They have small ears and a flat forehead that runs down to a long, mobile snout that extends beyond the jaw. Its snout, well developed front teeth and long claws help them in digging for insects and larvae. It has a soft, curly undercoat that protects them from cold. Because of its inquisitive nature and level of activity during the daytime, the zoo frequently uses behavior enrichment to keep the coati mentally and physically stimulated.
Reproduction & Growth
Coatis are very social and will form casual bands of 4-20 females. Up to the age of two years, solitary males will join a troop of females, but remain clearly subordinate. During breeding season, which ranges from January to April depending on location, males compete for females by leaving scents of urine and musk and also eventually showing some aggressive behavior. Gestation period is approximately 10-11 weeks resulting in litters of 2-6 young born in a tree nest or tree trunk cavity. The females nurse their young and care for them alone. At about five weeks, the young are weaned, and both will rejoin the troop. As adults, coatis vary in size from a house cat to that of a medium dog. Head, body and tail combined can be up to four and a half feet long, with the tail measuring at least one half, if no more, of their total length. It can weigh anywhere from 15-25 pounds and can live up to 14 years in captivity.
Diet: Carnivore (but will eat almost anything)
In the Wild: Invertebrates, small animals, plants, eggs, berries, fruits and nuts. In the Zoo: Omnivore biscuits, dog food, eggs, watermelon, pears, caneloupe, honeydew, grapes, chicken, ground meat, fish, beef, and insects.