Common Name:  Coatimundi
Other Common Names:  Coati
Scientific Name:  Nasua nasua  (Full Taxonomy)
Group:  Coatimundi
Origin or Range:  North, South and Central America
Relative Size:  Smaller Than Average  
    (as compared to other other exotics)
Average Lifespan:  17 year(s)
Compatibility:  Average   
    (as compared to other other exotics)
Category:  Mammals ยป Other Exotics

Animal Description:  

Relatively little known in many parts of the world, the Coatimundi (pronounced keh-wat-i-mun-deh) is an affectionate, amazingly smart little animal that can make an excellent pet.

In the wild, the Coatimundi lives in small groups of about four to 20 animals with the exception of males over two years of age, who are solitary. Coatimundis prefer living in forests and places where the grass grows wild and live primarily in trees. They are active at all times of the day and can be found either hunting food on the ground or taking a nap in the safe branches of a tree. In captivity it is important to provide branches in their enclosure since they really enjoy climbing and spending time in the branches. They are relatively long-lived and have been known to live more than 15 years. In the wild, the Coatimundi eats just about anything it can. They are omnivorous, eating both plants and animals. They are not a nuisance animal and farmers have not had much trouble with Coatis eating up crops. Only recently has the Coatimundi become a popular pet, and they are rapidly gaining favor with pet owners. Do not be fooled, though - Coatimundi are clever animals and will not act like a typical household cat or dog. They are precocious, and while they will calm down enough to live in your home, they are very active animals overall. Expect them to be a bit of a handful. Coatis are infamous for tearing things apart out of curiosity, and if you want your house to remain intact, you will need to keep them caged when you are not there to watch what they are doing. You can train your Coatimundi to wear a leash or even a harness, and you can take them for walks. Coatis have rather large claws and teeth, but don't be afraid; they won't use them against you unless they feel threatened or extremely frightened. Having your Coati declawed is not necessary and can be seen as cruel. Coatimundies won't react positively to strange people in the house or to other pets. A lot of socialization needs to be done in order to maintain a mentally healthy Coatimundi. Feed them while they are caged in order to teach them not to eat from your dinner plate! It's the general opinion of the Coati owners that neutered male Coatis are far better suited for a life at home than females. Females tend to be more dominant than males; hence, they are a little less likely to be friendly at home. Intact males tend to have behavioral problems. For example you may have a loving pet one minute and be attacked the next minute. This is much like the bezerk male syndrome as observed in many exotic pets. Overall, Coatimundis are fascinating, smart little animals that make great pets for people patient enough to keep them.

The Coatimundi is an adorable little mammal. They are around 2 feet long and are darkly colored, with brownish-red fur. They weigh between eight and 12 pounds, and males are a bit larger than females. They have deep black facial masks which are marked with brown shades, and have white chins, throats, and muzzles. The undersides of Coatimundis are generally yellowish brown or tan colored. Coatimundis have long black-ringed tails, generally measuring about two feet in length, that are used for balance. Their snouts are long and flexible. They also have powerful feet with large claws for leaping, climbing, and digging.

The Coati's natural range extends from South America as far North as Arizona. They inhabit mountain canyons that have oak and sycamore trees. They will move into the lower riparian canyons in early spring and summer. Although Coatimundis are not well known as pets in many parts of the globe, they are rapidly gaining recognition. Occasionally they are hunted for meat and may be considered a pest in areas where they damage crops. They are not an endangered species, and captive breeding is helping to ensure that they never are.

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