You may have heard the Kinkajou called by the more popular name of Honey Bear. They are very small in size so they are often mistaken for either Ferrets or a species of Monkey. They are very closely related to Raccoons.
The Kinkajou is quite small with their weight from 3 to 10 pounds. They can be up to 24 inches long. Their tail can be up to another 22 inches in length for them. They have a coat of fur that is thick and has a wooly texture to it. The coloring can range from light brown to grayish. They also have an undercoat that is gray. The ears are very small but it features large eyes. They have short but powerful legs with five toes on each. They also have very sharp claws.
The rainforest is home for the Kinkajou. They are found in regions from the Sierra Madre in Mexico to South America and Central America.
The Kinkajou is nocturnal which means it only comes out at night. It has very good vision that allows it to see well in complete darkness. During the day they are well hidden in the rainforest. They rest and they stay in the shade to take solace from the heat.
Due to the very cut appearance of them and their small size, they are often trapped and sold illegally. The demand for them on the black market with the pet trade is very high. People will pay ridiculous amounts of money to own a rare animal like this one.
The eating habits of the Kinkajou involve them walking around with fruits, berries, and plant life. As a result they play a vital role in the process of dispersing seeds around the rainforest. This type of action helps to ensure that there will be future growth of food for them and other living creatures to be able to survive on.
In captivity they will consume large amounts of honey. However, the behavior of eating honey in the wild has never been observed.
The Kinkajou is an omnivore but up to 90% of their food is plants, fruits, and berries. The other 10% can be small rodents, insects, and some reptiles. They tend to really enjoy eating ants and they can consume large numbers of them from a single location.
They have a diverse food selection and they will wonder around their habitat to find it. They have an excellent memory in terms of when the fruits and berries will be available and so they know when to go to the right locations to get their favorite foods.
There is no set mating season for the Kinkajou. It can take place during any time of the year. There is little information offered about mating rituals or selection. Once mating has occurred the gestation will be about 120 days. There will be 1 or 2 off spring born that the mother will care for.
When the young are about a year old they will be able to care for themselves. They often move on to a habitat that is fairly close to their mother. The males tend to move out further than the female offspring. Their estimated life span is 40 years.
Many people assume that the future is at risk for the Kinkajou because it is very seldom seen. However, experts believe that there are sufficient numbers in the wild for them to be able to continue to thrive. In some locations though they are heavily hunted for meat or for their furs. The government of such locations are encouraged to work to implement laws that would reduce such forms of hunting of this animal.