Animals of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
The Raccoons (Mapache) in Costa Rica belong to the same species as those in North America. They are found near beaches and rivers, or sometimes at night in your kitchen looting your food supplies.
The clever animals with their Bandido masks quickly learn how to open cupboards and fridges.
The White-nosed Coati (Pizote) is diurnal and the solitary males are frequently seen in Costa Rica. Females and juveniles however live in groups of up to 20 members and avoid encounters with humans. Coatis are good climbers and sleep on trees at night.
The long-nosed members of the raccoon family have a highly developed sense of smell to localize their food. The omnivorous animals eat everything from fruit to mice, tarantulas, lizards and what might be in your kitchen or trash bins. Coatis are quite intelligent and have even been known to unscrew bottles. They are easily tamed but can also become obnoxious when begging for food.
Though not uncommon, Kinkajous (Martilla) are hardly seen as they avoid the daylight. At night you can often hear them call: they make a short, barking wee-wee-wee.
Kinkajous look really cute (if it wasn't too dark to see them) with big black eyes, little round ears and a soft, gold-colored fur. Their prehensile tail is longer than the body helping them to climb around the treetops when searching for fruit, honey or insects.
It isn't recommended to have kinkajous as a pet as they might bear the roundworm which can cause death in a person. See: Raccoon Roundworms in Pet Kinkajous
The Olingo is very similar to the kinkajou but it is smaller. Its body is 35 to 47 cm long, with a tail length of 40 to 48 cm and it has a narrower snout and a bushy, nonprehensile tail which it holds straight while the kinkajou wraps its tail around branches while climbing. The olingo lives in the upper canopy of the forest in areas from sea level up to 2,000 meters. The nocturnal animal feeds on fruit, mostly figs, but it also eats insects or small rodents if there is nothing else available.
To defend themselves olingos possess an anal scent gland similar to that of a skunk.