The coati is closely related to the well-known raccoon. However, unlike their cousins, coatis are diurnal – mostly active during the day. A coati is about the size of a large house cat with a ringed tail. Preferring to sleep in trees, the coati will build a bedlike twig and leaf nest. This mammal has a very flexible nose which it uses while foraging. Most amazing—the coati is able to descend trees head first.
Distribution: Woodland and forests from the southern United States, through Mexico and Central America and into north-western South America.
Diet in the Wild: Fruit, invertebrates, lizards, small rodents
Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Dog chow, varied fruits and vegetables, eggs and bread
IUCN Red List Status: Least concern, population decreasing
Threats: Habitat loss, hunting
The coati has a long snout well adapted to their foraging lifestyle, helping it to reach insects hiding in otherwise inaccessible spots.
The coati’s tail is used to help it balance, often being held straight up above its body.