Kinkajou as a pet

Coloradans love their pets, there’s no doubt about that. But did you know that there are some animals that Colorado law prohibits keeping as pets? Wildlife species (unless in the care of a licensed rehabilitation center) cannot be kept in homes or as pets. Wildlife are a “public resource” so cannot be owned by individuals, according to Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), and it’s for the animals’ own good. Wild animals just aren’t wired for domestic living like dogs, cats, and other common pets. Wildlife can carry disease, and they can become frightened, destructive, and even harmful to humans. It is best to leave wildlife in the wild, where they know by instinct how to survive. Even baby animals that appear cuddly can be problematic.

The State of Colorado also prohibits ownership of some exotic species. Monkeys and other primates, exotic pigs, certain kinds of frogs, exotic bovids such as wildebeest, and ruminants like oryx, for example, are illegal to possess in Colorado. The reasons certain species are prohibited varies; some are due to the threat of the spread of disease, while others can have damaging effects on native habitat and wildlife populations. American bullfrogs, for example, are not native to Colorado but somebody brought them here and, whether through escaping or being released into the wild, the frogs a have since become significant predators to Colorado’s native leopard frog. Piranhas are another species that have been brought to Colorado and let loose, causing problems for native fish species. See this information from CPW on why you should never turn a pet or lab animal loose.


For a list of prohibited pets and wildlife in Colorado, as well as more information on why wild animals should stay wild, see the CPW’s Exotic Pets and Prohibited Wildlife brochure and visit their “Don’t Domesticate” webpage. Here you can also find information about why you shouldn’t feed wildlife or try to assist an injured animal in your home. Rehabilitation facilities exist for this purpose. They and other similar entities can find information on obtaining special licenses by clicking on . Finally, animal import requirements can be found on the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s website.
Photos courtesy Colorado Parks & Wildlife

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Amy Zimmer

Technical Services Librarian at State Publications Library

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Caring for a Bushbaby in Captivity
Habitat: Being smaller animals they do not need an extremely large enclosure although the bigger the better. A pet Bushbaby would be out of the cage often interacting with their families and would not require a very large cage if they have daily access to the home. This would allow them to get the physical and mental exercise they need. For a display or breeding bushbaby they would require a larger cage if they are not allowed out.

They are arboreal and spend their time up off the floor, although they may venture down on occasion they prefer higher placed toys and enrichment. Branches and a sleeping box are important for enrichment. Swings, hammocks, and hanging toys are great also. Keeping them very shaded in the sun is imperative.
They can be housed together and will benefit greatly from companionship, especially if you are not awake during the night.
Handling: Bushies are small, easy to hold, carry or let ride on your shoulder. They seem to have mild personalities and even our animals that are not hand raised can tolerate some contact handling with no issues.

Everything To Know About Keeping A Bush Baby As A Pet

If you want to welcome an adorable monkey to your family, then it might be time to look no further than a bush baby. These nocturnal creatures live across Africa, but what about having one in your front room? Here’s everything to know about keeping a bush baby as a pet.

Housing your pet

Bushbabies often spend their time swinging through the trees and can leap more than ten feet at a time. This means that the bigger the cage you can house, the better. Many people opt for large parrot cages, but you need to be careful to make sure the bars aren’t too wide, or they might be able to climb through. Plus, they need to be locked as bushbabies can quickly learn how to open the latches.

Dietary requirements

It seems as though bushbabies can survive on a whole host of different foods as these foraging monkeys will eat a varied diet in the wild. Some of the many items they may enjoy are lots of fruits and vegetables, monkey biscuits, locusts, mealworms, crickets, and baby food. They also need to have fresh water available at all times, and it might require changing several times throughout the day depending on how clean your pet is with their dish.

The smell

Many monkeys mark their territory. Bushbabies are no exception. The males will usually use their hands to spread their scent around any are they can. This means their cage needs regular cleaning to ensure there are no unwanted extras or smells from your new pet. To top it off, owners need to be extremely careful that they don’t end up infecting themselves or the rest of their house thanks to poor hygiene when handling their new pet.

Plenty of enrichment

Monkeys usually get bored pretty quickly. This can lead to them getting stressed, and some even start to harm themselves as a way to pass the time. Bushbabies love to spend time with others while most thrive with plenty of time out of their cage and with their owners. They love to play games to pass the time, both with each other and with their owner. Plus, bushbabies will appreciate having their food hidden around their cage to help replicate their natural environment.

Other aspects

Did you ever wonder how bushbabies got their name? That’s all thanks to their recognizable call. Many believe they sound like crying babies. Plus, they are nocturnal creatures, which means they are most active at night. It might be time to get used to all those noises coming from the new addition. Bushbabies are currently on the endangered species list. This means that it’s vital only to buy bottle-fed pets who haven’t been taken from the wild to help keep them safe.

There are so many exotic pets on the market, with bushbabies being one of the most popular in recent times. However, as with any pet, it’s vital that you learn everything to know about keeping a bush baby as a pet before you welcome one into your family.

The Bush Baby’s native habitat is the African forests and savannahs, south of the Sahara Desert. They are also known as galapos and they are members of the primate family. In the wild, they live in large groups but hunt alone or in pairs.

Bush Babies have large eyes with bodies that can be 8-18 inches long. Their coats are short and colors are shades of gray to brown with a yellow strip between the eyes. Ears are very large and their hearing is excellent. Bush babies use their fingers and toes to climb and catch prey. They can leap 10 feet and more through tree branches, something to remember when your bush baby is out of the cage. Lifespan is 10-15 years, sometimes longer in captivity.

They are social animals and can be affectionate. Females can be kept together with only one male. Males are territorial and sometimes will fight to the death. This intelligent little pet needs daily attention and playtime to remain happy and healthy. This means playtime out of the cage too. They are clean animals, but males will urinate in their hands and then mark their territory.

Bush Babies require a large, very secure cage, such as a size for a large parrot. Equipment includes branches, ropes, safe non-toxic toys. They are very clever and can learn to open the latch of the cage, so it should be locked. Include a nest box stuffed with sweet, fresh hay. Floor covering can be newspaper or wood shavings. It’s important to keep the cage out of drafts which can be fatal to these animals. The cage should be cleaned several times a week.

Diet consists of chopped fruits and veggies, baby food, live food such as crickets, mealworms, locusts, monkey biscuits, a slice of ZooPreem Primate Diet daily. Always have fresh water available.

The Bush Baby makes a variety of vocalizations, usually at night since they are nocturnal animals. They often sound like a crying baby, hence the name.

As with any pet, do your research before adopting. Make sure you are ready to make a commitment to giving the pet the proper environment, care and interaction.

Traffic in exotic animals has decreased a number of species of Bush Babies and they are on the endangered list. They are also killed and sold for their meat in African markets. If you are considering a Bush Baby as a pet, please keep in mind that their numbers are declining and don’t support wild caught animals.

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Secretive creatures of the canopy: At home in rain forests, tropical evergreen forests, some dry forests and even forests that grow in savanna regions, such as those found in Surinam, Kinkajous are arboreal and nocturnal, making them difficult to watch and study. Rather than come down from the branches high in the rain forest canopy, they travel from tree to tree via overlapping branches. During the day, kinkajous find a hollow or crook in a tree to sleep or hide in; they may use the same spot or a new one each day. Some kinkajous make nests in palm trees rather than use a tree hollow. Their spine is quite flexible, allowing them to curl into tight spots. They sleep alone or with another individual within their social group.

Kinkajous come out at night to stretch and scratch before beginning their quest for food. Before sunrise, they are back to a safe resting spot. If they get too hot, kinkajous expose their belly and bare-skinned palms to catch a cooling breeze.

Kinkajous are deliberate in their every movement, carefully placing all legs and the tail for the best balance. By rotating their hind ankles, kinkajous can climb down a tree’s trunk headfirst. This helps them make a quick escape from larger, tree-climbing predators such as jaguars, ocelots, and margays. There is danger from above as well, in the form of harpy eagles. Kinkajous look for dark hideaways just before dawn, the magical hour for predation. If they are not well concealed by this time, a predator might surprise them during sleep.

Although kinkajous are classified as carnivores (they have canine teeth), most of their diet is fruit and nectar. On rare occasions they eat eggs, hatchlings, insects, and small vertebrates. Their 5-inch-long (13 centimeters) tongue can reach inside flowers or beehives for tasty honey or nectar. Their short, dense fur provides a natural protection from bee stings. Their dexterous paws help them manipulate food. Kinkajous often hang by their tail while reaching for their next piece of fruit!

Kinkajous are important pollinators. As they travel from flower to flower to drink nectar, the flower’s pollen sticks to their face and then smears off at the next flower. Their foraging habits drive them to travel between a variety of trees each night. Several kinkajous may meet and forage together at the same site, if there is enough fruit to share!

Kinkajous at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park get dog kibble, corn, and a variety of fruit.

Kinkajou

Overview

“Where I live”

Kinkajous are animals of Central and South America that range from southern Mexico to southern Brazil. They live in several types of forest habitat, including tropical dry forest, secondary forest, Amazonian rainforest, Atlantic coastal forest, tropical evergreen forest, and forests of the savannah region in Suriname.

Kinkajous are a featured animal in The Maryland Zoo’s Animal Embassy collection.

“How I live there”

Kinkajous live in small social groups that usually consist of two males, one female, and related offspring. Members of the same group sleep together during the day in a shared nest or den and emerge at dusk to groom and socialize. They wander off to feed alone for most of the night but come back together in the morning to sleep.

Kinkajous are nocturnal and arboreal, which means that they are most active at night and rarely come down out of the trees. They have huge eyes for seeing in low light and rely on exceptional senses of hearing and smell to navigate at night. They have nimble clawed fingers and fully reversible hind feet that are slightly webbed – all the better for getting a good grip. Their bodies are elongated and they have extremely flexible spines so they can maneuver easily among branches. They use their long prehensile tails for balance as they move gracefully and deliberately through the treetops. They often hang upside down from their tails while feeding.

Kinkajous primarily eat fruit. They may supplement their diet with insects and nectar and can use their extra long tongues to get both. Kinkajous are considered active seed dispersers and possibly pollinators as well. They ingest large quantities of seeds when they eat fruit, which pass through their digestive systems mainly intact and are then deposited. When kinkajous feed on nectar, they get a face full of pollen that they then disperse to other plants.

“Making my mark”

Kinkajous communicate with each other mainly through scent marking and vocalization. They have scent glands at the corners of their mouths and on their throats and abdomens that they rub on tree branches to mark territory. Every social group of kinkajous has a clearly delineated home territory. Kinkajous also have a wide range of vocal calls that includes barks, chirps, squeaks, grunts, whistles, clicking, and the most common kinkajou vocalization, a two-part snort-wheedle! To show aggression, kinkajous hiss and scream.

Raising Young

When is a female kinkajou most attractive to a male kinkajou? When she is in estrus, which occurs about every three months for up to 10 days. A dominant male seeks out the female in his group for breeding, as well as any females not attached to other groups that may be living on the periphery of his territory. A dominant male typically spends several hours following a female through the trees before mating with her. Meanwhile, he may be followed closely by the subordinate male, who vocalizes and picks fights with him the whole time. Sometimes this in-your-face behavior pays off for the subordinate male; he too is allowed to mate with the female being pursued! Kinkajous can breed year-round but tend to have local breeding seasons that are probably linked roughly to fruit production.

After a gestation period of 112 to 120 days, females give birth usually to one and rarely to two offspring. At birth, a baby kinkajou weighs about seven ounces and measures about 12 inches long. It is blind and completely helpless until its ears and eyes open at some point during the first month of life. A mother kinkajou will nurse her newborn for about eight weeks. After weaning, she will continue to look after her offspring until it becomes fully independent at about four months of age.

Males do not help to care for young but will play with them and tolerate them sharing the same fruit tree or day den.

“What eats me”

Kinkajous can be taken by jaguars, ocelots, tayras, boas, and eagles. They will try to defend themselves by clinging to the attacker with all four limbs and inflicting wounds with their powerful canine teeth. Kinkajous are rarely seen, which keeps them relatively safe, but humans are their most significant predator. Kinkajous are captured for the pet trade, coveted for their fur, and hunted for meat.

Conservation

Kinkajous are rarely seen and not very well studied, which makes it difficult to judge their population status. Their available habitat is shrinking due to deforestation, though, and they also may be at risk of over-hunting and over-collection.

Its name means “honey bear,” but it’s not a bear. It’s a carnivore, though it mostly eats fruit. It has a prehensile tail, but it’s not a primate.

The kinkajou is awash in contradictions. But what is it?

This mammal is a procyonid, a member of a group of small animals with long tails that includes raccoons. Kinkajous can be found in tropical forests from southern Mexico to Brazil. They fill the same ecological niche as the New World monkeys they sort-of resemble, but unlike the monkeys, they’re nocturnal and they don’t use their tails for grabbing food. The kinkajou’s tail helps it to balance as it reaches for food–it’ll grab a branch with its tail as it reaches. And if it falls and catches itself with its tail, the kinkajou can twist itself in such a way that it can climb back up its own tail.

Like other members of the procyonid family, kinkajous aren’t too big, only about 16 to 22 inches in body length, and about double that if you add in the tail. Wild cats such as jaguars, ocelots and margays will prey on kinkajous, but kinkajous have a hidden talent that helps them escape: They can rotate their feet so that they can run backwards just as fast they run forwards. They also have sharp hearing that lets them detect quiet predators like snakes.

Kinkajous have long tongues that they use to slurp up the insides of fruit, nectar from flowers and honey from beehives (that’s where the name “honey bear” derives). They’re not complete vegetarians, though, and have been known to eat insects, eggs and even small vertebrates.

These are mostly solitary animals (though a few have been seen playing, grooming and sleeping in small groups), and the females raise their young alone. She’ll give birth to usually one baby in a tree hollow. And those babies grow up pretty fast—by the age of two weeks, the little kinkajou will be eating solid food, and it’ll be hanging by its own tail by seven weeks. It’ll reach maturity after 18 to 20 months. In a zoo, it might live as long as 40 years.

Kinkajous aren’t endangered, but their numbers are thought to be decreasing. Their forest habitat is being disturbed and destroyed in many places. They’ve been hunted for their meat and their pelts. And they’ve been captured for the pet trade, though, due to their painful bite and propensity for nocturnal mayhem (just think what they’d do to your home while you sleep), kinkajous, as with all wild animals, make for lousy, dangerous pets.

Kinkajous are vocal and nocturnal. Photo: Pure! Travel Group

Kinkajous are small mammals that are native to the rainforest.

They’re intelligent, vocal and curious animals — and they’re among the latest in the growing trend of exotic pets.

Kinkajous grow to be 2–12 pounds, depending on their subspecies, and can live for roughly 20 years. In other words, this is not a short-term pet.

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Kinkajous are unarguably cute animals — but whether or not they make good pets remains to be seen.

Let’s take a look at the kinkajou to see how this mammal fits into the average household.

Environment

Natives of the rainforests, these mammals are used to warm climates.

They are tree climbers assisted by their strong, lengthy tails, which they use as a balancing aid and to grip branches while they hang down.

Kinkajous spend most of the time up in the trees where it’s safer, often using interconnecting branches to travel from tree to tree.

The kinkajous’ paws are able to rotate to allow them a better grip on branches while they travel.

Their paws are nimble and equipped with sharp claws. The paws are similar to those of their close relatives, raccoons, although there are some differences. For example, the kinkajou can hang from its tail and use its paws to eat, but a raccoon cannot.

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Diet

Kinkajous are omnivores with a widely varied diet in the wild.

They use their long tongues to scoop honey from bees’ nests and insects from their hills with canine-like teeth.

Kinkajous will also eat fruits, small mammals and eggs. In captivity at zoos, these mammals are often fed a mixture of dog food, fruits and sometimes corn.

Social Behavior

Kinkajous spend plenty of time alone. While they travel to look for food, they generally stick to their own territories, which they mark with scent glands in their abdomen and mouth areas.

When together in a group, kinkajous will groom one another, play, sleep and search for food together.

Females give birth to 1 offspring (occasionally 2), which she will leave in a tree hollow while she searches for food. Her young will stay with her for 18–24 months, with male offspring having a tendency to leave her side slightly earlier than female offspring.

Kinkajous are extremely vocal. They use a mixture of high-pitched screeches, hisses and barks to communicate. Because they are nocturnal, most of their vocalization happens at night.

The kinkajou tends to form a strong bond with their person. They need to be socialized from a young age in order to keep aggression in check.

These adorable mammals bond tightly to their human. Photo: MaRu180

Kinkajous at Home

Armed with this basic information about kinkajous, we can see some considerations people should take into account before bringing one home as a pet:

  • Nocturnal: These animals are active at night.
  • Vocal: They tend to chatter.
  • Territorial: They mark their territory.
  • Environment: They are accustomed to warm climates with plenty of climbing space available.
  • Nimble: Their “fingers” resemble those of raccoons, who are notorious for cleverly getting into places they shouldn’t.

So, if you’re thinking of bringing a kinkajou home, consider how you will house your new pet and whether you’ll be able to provide a large, comfortable space with plenty of climbing areas.

Think about how you will maintain a comfortable temperature and have a backup plan for power outages.

Consider your lifestyle. If you work days and need to sleep nights, these animals may not fit into your lifestyle. Apartment living and home sharing will likely not be a good fit for kinkajous unless everyone in the immediate area is willing to share their sleeping hours with a wakeful pet.

If you plan to allow your kinkajou to roam the house freely, you’ll need to spend a great deal of time “pet proofing” to prevent access to electrical wires and outlets, poisonous plants, cleaning supplies, garbage bins and more. The animal’s curiosity and clever fingers make for a dangerous mix in an unsupervised environment.

You’ll also need a plan in place to deal with their territorial marking, which will be difficult to stop — and these animals are difficult, if not impossible, to litter train.

Kinkajou Care

It may be difficult to find an exotics veterinarian in your area who is comfortable caring for your kinkajou.

Kinkajous can carry the Baylisascaris procyonis roundworm, which can be transmitted to humans through fecal contact, so remember to wash your hands a lot.

They can also catch rabies and distemper, so vaccinations are a must, as well as spaying/neutering.

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This kinkajou is a true member of this family:

Kinkajous and the Law

There are laws in place regarding kinkajous. These laws will vary widely by state and sometimes even by municipality or town.

Before getting a kinkajou, check with your state to find out whether these exotic pets are allowed and, if so, whether you need a permit. Then check with your town to ensure there are no bylaws preventing you from keeping a kinkajou.

Kinkajous can make good pets — for the right person. They are not easy to re-home because of the bond they form with their human. The kinkajous’ long lifespan means you’ll be committing to your pet’s care for the next 20 years, so this is a huge decision.

Kinkajou care is not for the faint of heart. But if you can commit, your kinkajou could bring you a lifetime of love.

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Caring For a Pet Kinkajou

Many people are not only unfamiliar with kinkajous as pets, but they’ve never even heard of this interesting animal’s existence. Some may have been introduced to this species through the news of Paris Hilton adopting one, only for it to be confiscated because they are illegal in California (as many animals unfortunately are). They resemble monkeys, but they are actually related to raccoons. Before you consider bringing one of these fascinating animals into your home, consider that they are a relatively high-maintenance pet that will require special care.

  • The species name of the kinkajou is Potos flavus although there are a few subspecies, and in captivity they are sold as either ‘large’ or ‘small’ types. The most common types are the ‘smaller’ variety.
  • Kinkajous are also called honey bears due to their diet of tree nectar and honey.
  • These species have a very long lifespan of up to 40 years, but the average range is around 20-25 years.
  • Kinkajous vary in size but generally weigh around 7 pounds and their body length measures about 16-25 inches without their tail. They are about the size of a small housecat.

In the wild

ryanacandee (CC BY 2.0) Via Flickr

Kinkajous originate from the rainforests of Central and South America. In the wild, they are arboreal and nocturnal, spending most of their time in the tree tops. They use their prehensile tails like an appendage to grip tree branches similarly to monkeys, and they can also turn their feet backwards to assist in climbing. While they are related to raccoons, coatimundis, and ring-tailed cats, their diet consists of mostly fruit and honey, the latter which they gather by using their long tongue.

They do however consume animal material such as frogs, eggs, and insects, and they have sharp carnivore-like teeth. Kinkajous produce offspring once a year through spring and summer. On the IUCN Red List they are listed as least concern and there is no evidence that their populations are declining, therefore they are not threatened by the exotic pet trade.

Living with a kinkajou and behavior

Like their close relatives the raccoons, kinkajous can be mischievous and destructive in the typical household, which means their cage should provide most of their needs. While they can be friendly and curious about humans when they’ve been socialized from a young age, they are still prone to bouts of aggression which could arise from hormonal shifts. This might make them seem unpredictable. They are also prone to food aggression and guarding behaviors.

While kinkajous do not have a ‘foul’ smelling odor, they can be quite messy, using the bathroom wherever they are standing much like a parrot. Their eating habits can cause sticky fruits to end up throughout the enclosure (which can attract fruit flies) and the habitat will require frequent cleaning. Kinkajous produce many unique vocalizations that vary from high-pitched sounds like chirping, shrieking and whistling to huffing and ‘barking’. As they are nocturnal, this can become annoying if they are placed in your bedroom. The proper cage will determine the level of success you will have with a pet kinkajou.

Silk Knoll CC by 2.0 Via Flickr

Personality

Most of the time, a well-socialized kinkajou will be a well-mannered and somewhat affectionate pet. They are often comfortable around people, even those who aren’t their owners, and will climb on their shoulders. There have been enough reports of unprovoked aggression in kinkajous for new owners to take notice. Unruly and occasionally aggressive behavior is said to peak at around 2 years old and last until around 5 years, but spaying and neutering might have a positive effect on this issue. Very few animals, especially those that aren’t domesticated, can be expected to be well-behaved 100% of the time.

The Kinkajou Cage

As kinkajous are tree dwellers, their cage should be tall in addition to being long. This is a somewhat large, active, and mentally complex animal and the cage really shouldn’t be skimped on with the hopes that its needs can be met with hour-long play sessions. The cage should be big enough for the animal to maneuver around comfortably for a few feet.

Many owners will suggest a 6x4x6 foot enclosure or larger, which is your best bet for a satisfied kinkajou and less stress for you as its owner. Smaller is possible, but this may depend on the animal and if it does not seem sufficient, you will need to upgrade.

Remember that the kinkajou is mostly active at night, so it will need to have plenty of room to play while you sleep. The cage should contain the basic necessities, such as climbing branches and ropes, ledges, shelves, and suspended bowls for feeding and toys.

Try to make the environment complex to increase its enrichment value. Your kinkajou can sleep or rest in a hammock, and a homemade nesting box is good for the main sleeping quarters. One easy option is a plastic bin with a hole cut out, mounted to the wall. Building your own cage is always a great option, but for store-bought cages, large walk-in aviaries or tall dog kennels work great in climate-controlled rooms. You might want to consider adding an outdoor enclosure so your kinkajou can get some sun and fresh air.

Oli23000 CC BY 2.0 Via Flickr

Kinkajou diet and feeding

Kinkajous are omnivores that consume mostly fruits and tree nectar, which is why they are also referred to as ‘honey bears’. In captivity, they can be fed many different types of fruits, including grapes, bananas, papaya, mango, figs, and pomegranate. Tropical fruits tend to more closely match those which they’d get in the wild, but avoid citrus (oranges, grapefruit, ect). Various vegetables and flowers (hibiscus, candela, and other edibles) can also be offered. For protein, the monkey biscuits by Mazuri or Zupreem are a good choice and enjoyed by many animals. Hard- boiled eggs, boiled chicken, and some dog foods can supplement the diet.

Kinkajous can be messy eaters, so use a bowl that can securely attach to the side of the cage. Place the water bowl away from the food bowls to help prevent them from getting dirtied, however if this still happens, one good option is to use a glass hamster style dripper water bottle for either rabbits or dogs, just be sure that the kinkajou knows how to use it before removing the bowls.

Kinkajous can live for over 20 years, so if you are seriously considering getting one, ponder the decision thoroughly. Be aware that these animals, like many exotics, do not re-home well and this can be detrimental to the animal’s welfare. If you need to go away, who will watch your pet? Be sure to continue to research before and after the animal is acquired, as unlike dogs and cats, kinkajou care has not been thoroughly studied.

Owning a Kinkajou: Is it for You?

Kinkajous have been all the rage ever since a South Florida woman woke up with one on her chest last week. And although the creatures are cuddly and cute, they can be quite a bit of work.

But let’s back up. What exactly is a kinkajou?

“They are mammals belonging to the raccoon family,” said Lauren Elizabeth, an exotic animal caretaker at Fowl Mouth Farm. “They’re native to Mexico, Central America and parts of northern South America.”

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If you want to own one of these cute creatures, you need a “no-cost personal pet permit” from the Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission. The permit is free, but you need to complete a questionnaire in order to obtain it. In addition to the permit, you will need a certified breeder.

“You would like to look for a USDA and Florida Wildlife licensed breeder,” said Elizabeth. “It’s a good idea to ask for the breeders’ license number and to verify through the organizations that they are licensed, because it is a legal issue.”

If you’re still considering getting yourself a kinkajou, experts say you should know what you are getting yourself into. First, do a lot of research. Kinkajous are omnivores and are awake at night. Don Harris, a veterinarian, said, “You better be a night owl. Because this is a nocturnal animal, non-negotiable.”

And although cute, these animals can be pretty slick, as they have tendencies to open things that aren’t carefully closed.

“They can figure out things and they’re fairly smart,” Harris said.

One owner said despite the tedious process of getting the kinkajou and it being nocturnal, it’s totally worth it.

Lee said it’s an animal that requires a lot of research, knowledge, time, attention and most of all: money. But if you take the right steps, you can safely and responsibly care for one of these adorable animals.

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