The Kinkajou lives in the subtropics or tropical rain forests, in Central and South America, where most of their life is spent in trees.

This is a lot easier for them than for many other animals as they have several quite interesting adaptations, one of which is an incredible tail, and the other being some very strange feet that can do things that might shock you if you saw it.

A kinkajou holding a Balsa blossom
A kinkajou holding a Balsa blossom

The kinkajou can turn its feet backwards, to run quite easily in either direction up a branch or up and down a tree trunk

They also have whats called a prehensile tail, which means that it can grip easily and they use it like a third arm, to hang onto anything they’d like to grip onto. This incredible tail helps the kinkajou hang, balance and also covers them very much like a warm blanket while they are sleeping very high up in what is called the canopy part of the tree tops.

Although many people think its a lot like a monkey or a primate, the kinkajou is really very closely related to the raccoon family of North America.

The Kinkajou has the nickname of Honey Bear, because a big part of its food source is gained by raiding the nests of honey bees. The Kinkajous have a long skinny tongue that they use to lick honey from the hive and also to lick up insects, such as ants and termites, which they remove from their nests.

Kinkajous omnivores, eating meat, fruit and insects, selecting smaller mammals that they grab with the quick front feet, that have some very sharp claws attached. They hunt and eat at night, being nocturnal and in the morning they return to the same tree where they will sleep in tree holes they’ve made.

Every summer the female Kinkajou will give birth to one baby, which is born with its eyes closed, blind for over a month, but a baby that grows and develops so fast that by the end of the second month, it can hang from its own tail upside down.

Kinkajous live in large family groups up in the very highest part of the tree tops, called the canopy, and share life, including grooming each other and interacting in a social way.

Although they aren’t seen very often, being secretive creatures, they are always heard, as they screech and bark nearly all the time.


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