Everyone as a kid wanted a monkey, at least the people I knew did. As an adult one may want an exotic animal for companionship, to one up their other friends, or use it as a tool. If there were two guys in the park, one with a dog and another with a Kinkajou, which one do you think is going to draw more attention? I of course never purchased a Kinkajou to help me out with girls, I did it due to my deep love of exotic animals.
First off, what is a Kinkajou?
Kinkajous are native to the upper part of South America, into Brazil,and as far north as parts of Mexico. Kinkajous live in the tropical forests, and spend most of their lives dwelling in trees. Due to the fact they live in tropical areas, they are used to high heat and humidity. Since they occupy such a wide range of forests and habitats, they are not an endangered or even a threatened species; though their habitat is depleting, and they are traded illegally. I would like to meet someone wearing a Kinkajou coat at a party one time, I would be very friendly. The only one who deserves to kill a Kinkajou is someone who has had tens of thousands of dollars worth of their home destroyed by one and even then it is a crime to hurt these cute little animals.
At sight they look closely related to small primates. The Kinkajou, however, is much closer related to a raccoon, or a Ring-tail lemur. The are brown to tan in color, with a brown grayish undercoat. They can reach body lengths up to 16-22 inches in adulthood. In addition their tail can reach the length of their bodies up to 22 inches. The adult Kinkajou can weigh between 7-10 pounds. They have large eyes and small ears. In many ways their face has many resemblance to a bear’s. My pet kinkajou, Zoey, has been around a lot of models and has body image issues, we believe that is why she is small for her age.
Kinkajous have short legs with five toes, made for gripping branches and finding food. They can rotate their paws backwards to allow for better grip and positioning themselves in canopies. Kinkajous also have a prehensile tail that they use for additional support and grip. The tail is so strong that they can hang from it, and easily support their total body weight with it for significant periods of time.
Their five-inch long tongue is especially good for licking nectar out of flowers and pulling fruit from the peel. They know how to drink out of straws and it would not be a good idea to leave out some bubble gum vodka, since they would probably drink it.
They are omnivores whose main diet consists of plants, mainly tree fruits, insects, and honey. Up to 90% of their diet is fruit, while flowers, bugs and honey make up the other 10%. They are sometimes called honey bears, because of their tendency to raid bees’ nests for honey. In captivity, they are avid honey eaters preferring it over most other foods. Although they will eat anything, you cannot leave gum around the house, because they will manage to chew it and spit it out in the worst places.
Behavior : Zoey apparently was hungry.
Kinkajous are remarkably dexterous. Using their paws and tongue to forge for fruit. They specialize in opening peels with great skill. Their bodies and tails make them highly maneuverable and very graceful climbers. Kinkajous are nocturnal, and spend most of the night alone hunting and forging for food. Despite being independent eaters they are a fairly social animal known to associate with others and even different species such as Olingos. They are known to groom each other as part of regular social interaction.
Female Kinkajous give birth to one, sometimes two, babies. The babies are born blind and remain so for the first month, but by the second month they are strong enough to hold themselves up by the tail and are highly independent from their mothers.
Kinkajous do whatever the hell they want. They love to pounce on you. They love to bite, typically in a friendly way. Whatever you are paying attention to they will come and attempt to grab it from you. For some reason they do not have any local loyalty. If they escape the house, they will run back to South America. Little Zoey made it nine miles before the press and police intervened. Whitney Zelig put on an amazing search and rescue campaign and was able to bring Zoey back to her home.
Kinkajous as pets
If raised from a young age, Kinkajous are quite docile and friendly. They enjoy playing and require a lot of attention. Because they are nocturnal and rather mischievous they should be caged when they are not being supervised, and at night. Their cage should be quite large (6×8 feet, plus), the bigger the better, with many toys and things to climb on to entertain and exercise them.Their cage should also have a secluded place for them to hide and sleep. Kinkajous are not potty trainable, though they do have the tendency to use the same location as a bathroom repeatedly. They typically will pick the worst place to pee or poop. They have a keen sense for appraising valuable things in the home and making sure they let it go right there. Zoey drinks a lot of fruit punch, so there are wonderful traces of red stains throughout my house.
Kinkajous produce low odor, and are relatively quiet. Even though, they can become aggressive and very vocal if startled, both barking and growling. If Kinkajous grow bored, they are also more likely to vocalize to call for attention. Feeding a Kinkajou is quite simple, as their diet is mostly fruit. Tropical fruits like bananas, figs, pineapples, and grapes are best. Animal experts recommend staying away from citrus fruits like oranges. They are known to be messy eaters, as well as slightly destructive. They require regular attention and affection and must be frequently cleaned up after.
Should one Have a Pet Kinkajou?
If you are a person who has 8 hours a day to dedicate to a little curious mischievous animal, then yes. You also need a lot of space and have to be very cool with cleaning up fecal matter. That narrows it down to .001 of the population. So, the answer is No. Ideally they should be left in the wild, I know I contributed to the opposite. I am an American and I am plagued with consumerism. Like other Americans I buy expensive shit I do not need without thinking. Zoey was purchased on a Friday at lunch after a cocktail or two. She cost $4200. She had surgery +$1000, she has destroyed $25,000 worth of art, furniture and flooring. Therefore, if you have between $ 10,000 to $50,000 and a lot of time for a pet then a Kinkajou might work. However, typically the people that have that type of disposable income are not sitting around the house all day, which is needed to properly care for a Kinkajou. I love Zoey, I would do anything for her, but I would recommend to people that they should get a puppy.