The Kinkajou is part of the raccoon family of animals, so they have a really nice set of canines in their mouths, but they don’t eat a lot of meat at all. Their diet consists mainly of fruit and nectar, so they really like sugary food. Their favorite food of all time is honey, and it got them the nickname of ‘Honey Bear’ because they raid bee hives for it. They have a tongue in their mouth that’s about 5 inches long when fully extended. What they want to do is go up to the hive, stick their tongue in, get the honey, get out without getting stung. It works really well for that! They also use it to get nectar out of flowers. They are pretty efficient pollinators where they’re from, they just go around sticking their nose in everything. Body size-wise they are about the size of your average house cat, but they have a tail on them that doubles their body length. They cannot use it to hang from anything directly, but they use it as a fifth arm when they move around the trees, just to take a little extra body weight off.
This species is native to northern South America and is found in the tree canopies of dense forests. It was thought that they may be endangered because not many are seen in the wild, but that’s because they are nocturnal and arboreal, so active in the trees at night. As it turns out they are classified by the IUCN as least concern, which is good. Many people do actually have Kinkajous as house pets. Riccou was someone’s pet for the first 10 years of his life. His owner got placed in the military and stationed in Hawaii, so they couldn’t bring Riccou with them. We’ve had Riccou now for four years, his owners have already come back and visited him multiple times. They LOVE each other so whenever Riccou sees them he runs over and jumps into their arms. It’s a really good situation so as soon as they are done serving, we are just going to give Riccou back, but he’s the only animal here at the farm we’d ever return to their original owner and that’s just because of a very special circumstance. We got Mindy when we got Mork, so she completes the Mork and Mindy pairing (which is why Mittens is Mittens and not Mindy). She came from a nearby animal sanctuary that needed to make some room, so we got her as a baby. She hides in her crate all day, no matter how hot or cold it is. If you bother her at all she just tucks herself back in, so she doesn’t make too good of a tour spot.
Pictured Above: Mindy (Female), Riccou (Male)