Coati Sighting


Have you ever seen an animal with a long furry tail, held aloft like a flagpole? It’s a coati (pronounced co-ahhh-tea). It’s a member of the raccoon family, Procyonidae,  and it’s a common mammal of the Americas’ tropical regions. In Mexico, it’s called Tejon, which also means “badger”. But it’s not a badger. It’s a coati, and they are easily tamed and make good pets. I saw one the other night foraging along the bushes in front of the reception area.

Wikipedia has the following description:

“White-nosed coatis inhabit wooded areas (dry and moist forests) of the Americas. They are found at any altitude from sea level to 3,500 m (11,500 ft), and from as far north as southeastern Arizona and New Mexico to as far south as Ecuador.

 

Feeding habits

They are omnivores, preferring small vertebratesfruitscarrioninsects, and eggs. They can climb trees easily, where the tail is used for balance, but they are most often on the ground foraging. Their predators include boasraptorshunting cats, and Tayras (Eira barbara). They readily adapt to human presence; like raccoons, they will raid campsites and trash receptacles. They can be domesticated easily, and have been verified experimentally to be quite intelligent.

Behavior

They are primarily diurnal, retiring during the night to a specific tree and descending at dawn to begin their daily search for food. However, their habits are adjustable, and in areas where they are hunted by humans for food, or where they raid human settlements for their own food, they become more nocturnal. Adult males are solitary, but females and sexually immature males form social groups. They use many vocal signals to communicate with one another, and also spend time grooming themselves and each other with their teeth and claws. During foraging times, the young cubs are left with a pair of babysitters, similar to Meerkats. The young males and even some females tend to play-fight. Many of the coatis will have short fights over food.”

While I have commonly seen a troop of coatis on the way down to Stone Island, I have never seen one on the developed part of the EDM property until last week; there was one across from Deb & Jack’s place heading towards the 5th green. Imagine my surprise when I saw this little guy looking for lunch in our patio area. I can’t imagine they will do much harm, but they may leave little “packages” for me to scoop up on my weekly patrol for cat “packages”. They are not aggressive like some  raccoons but they are attracted to food, especially cat food. So beware and don’t be surprised if you see our little friend.

 

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