Cuteness at the Highest Level. . Costa Rica's Coatimundi. .
Also known as a "Pizotes", they are found throughout Costa Rica, especially near the coastal areas. .
The white-nosed coatimundi, or "coati", as it is sometimes called, is one of Costa Rica 's 200 mammal species. It is commonly mistaken for a raccoon or a large house cat, as it is similar in size and appearance. Their fur is reddish-brown to dark brown in color. And, they are so cute! By the way, in Costa Rica, they are also known as "pizotes".
You will mostly see them in the rainforest, dry forest or cloud forest. Coatis are also common in the wetlands. They are likely to be spotted climbing trees or walking in groups of 10 to 35 along pathways, ridges and creeks. They are friendly and usually visit and get close to humans while they are eating in hope of winning over someone to throw them a scrap or two.
A baby coati is called a "kit". The litters range from 3 to 6 newborns. Once they become a full-grown adult, a coati will weigh between 9 and 16 pounds. They will grow to a length of a little less than 4 feet long, with the males being larger than the females. They have long, sharp claws used for foraging food, roots and for protection.
Besides their long snout with a white tip, they look very similar to raccoons. These long noses come in handy since they use them to turn over rocks and get into tiny crevasses. . always searching for food. The average coati in the wild will live to almost 10 years and domesticated ones can live nearly twice as long.
The coati breeding season usually starts around rainy season because during this time, they will find a larger amount of food, especially fruits. The rainy season is between January and April in some areas and between September and February in others.
Coatis are active during both daytime and nighttime hours. In large groups, they protect each other and act together as a very close-knit family. When they feel danger, they will all jump in the closest tree to escape harm. However, if there is only one that is being hassled by another animal, its demeanor changes and they turn crazy. . doing anything it takes to survive the danger.
The coati eats just about anything it can find. They love to eat tarantulas, lizards, rodents, small birds, eggs, fruits and berries. Many people view them as pests, as they get into garbage cans. They also favor showing up at family picnics. These animals are very curious and love to be around the action. . especially if food is in the picture.
Besides man killing these ambassadors for Costa Rica, some animals see them as a tasty, filling snack. Their main predators include large snakes, wildcats, coyotes and eagles.
We have all probably experienced a sighting or two when eating lunch at a beachfront restaurant. I remember being in Jaco Beach a few years back, snacking on one of their famous fish tacos. All of a sudden, our table was surrounded by pizotes. They love to eat. . and I do, too! I'm happy to report that even though it was tempting. . with their big brown eyes looking up at me. . I didn't share my lunch with them!
Also, please enjoy our over 1,700 episodes of our "Costa Rica Pura Vida Lifestyle Podcast Series". We are found on all major podcast venues, including iHeartRADIO, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Radio FM, Anchor & many more. Here's our link: www.anchor.fm/costa-rica-pura-vida
About the author
Costa Rica is a magical place. Since November, 2002, when I first visited this country, I have been in love with the people, the culture, its biodiversity, the food. . everything about it makes me happy! Now I share my excitement with you!