White Nosed Coati or Coatimundi

Also known as Pizotes in Costa Rica

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White Nosed Coati or Coatimundi

Where to find the Coatimundi?Coati Costa Rica

The White Nosed Coati, also known as Coatimundi or the local term, Pizote, is very well-known in Costa Rica. Coatis inhabit forested areas in Central America. They are found through most of Costa Rica, especially near the coast. You will mostly see them in the rainforest, dryforest, or cloudforest. Coatis are common in the wetlands of the country, too. You are likely to spot them climbing trees or walking in groups along paths. People have come upon large groups ranging from 10-30 of them. They are pretty friendly and usually view humans while they are eating in hope of grabbing a bite themselves. Normally, you won’t find many males in these groups as they are put out at the age of two. 

Characteristics and Behavior

A baby coatimundi is called a kit, and they normally are born 3-5 at a time. Once they have reached adulthood a coati will weigh in at 4-6 kilograms (8.8–13.2 lb). They will grow to a length of 110 cm (43 in), with males being noticeably larger than the females. The color of their fur is generally dark gray or brown with the tail having light and dark rings. 

Besides the elongated nose with a white tip, they look very similar to raccoons in North America. These long noses come in hand as they use it to turn over rocks and get into crevasses. The average Coatimundi in the wild will live to almost 10 years and domesticated ones can live nearly 16 years or more in rare cases, similar to that of a cat.

Coatis are active both day and night. In large groups of pizotes, they protect each other and are a close knit community. When they detect danger they will all jump in the closest tree to escape harm. This is different for the solitary Coati: It will rear up on his hind legs to stand and fight. They are known to be violent fighters and defend what is theirs. 

Favorite Foods and Predators

The Coati is an Omnivore just like its cousin the raccoon, meaning it eats just about anything it can find. In the forest, they love to eat tarantulas, lizards, rodents, birds, Eggs, fruits and berries. Many view them as pests – especially in cities – as they also get into garbage cans and raid campsites.

Besides man killing the Coatis, some animals view them as a great snack. The list encompasses pretty much any thing that eats meat, for example, large snakes, Wildcats, Wild dogs/Coyotes, and Eagles. 

Coatimundis as pets

People, like always, will try to domesticate an animal, and now have also tried with the Coatimundi. Although it comes as a high recommendation not to do so. This is because of the aggressive behavior as they grow older. When a Coati reaches adulthood they can bite, scratch, tear apart furniture, and all around they do not make good pets. Although there have been a few successes where the Coati was house trained. Moreover, it was verified experimentally that they are quite intelligent animals.

It is best to leave these guys alone in the wild, that is where they thrive and can be protected on a mass scale. 


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Come visit the Coati in Person!

If you want to see the Coatimundi in Costa Rica why not come for a visit. An amazing trip to Costa Rica is only a few clicks away. Not only will you have a great time you will also be helping to support organizations like the Corcovado Foundation and much more that strive to protect our little friends like the Coatimundi. 

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