Native to Central and South America; Kinkajous are also known as Honey Bears however they are not related to bears.  Kinkajous are most closely related to raccoons, despite having an appearance more like a primate.  Kinkajous have a long, prehensile tail that is used to grasp onto branches and trees as they eat fruit or move around from tree to tree.

Lifespan

The average lifespan for a kinkajou in the wild is around 20 years.  In captivity they have been known to live up to 30 years, however the average lifespan in captivity is between 23 and 25 years.

Shape & Size

Kinkajous are typically between 16-30 inches long with a long tail that ranges from 15-22 inches.  Kinkajous weigh on average about 3-10 pounds.

Color Pattern

Kinkajous are typically a brown color, though they may be lighter or darker in color depending on the animal. 

Behavior

Kinkajous are nocturnal by nature.  Their most active time tends to be from 7pm to midnight.  Kinkajous are very aggressive and startle easily, when they become aggressive, kinkajous typically attack their attacker’s face or genital areas.  They are mainly arboreal, in that they live in trees the majority of their lives.  Kinkajous have very sharp teeth and long sharp claws that can easily be used to fend of attackers.

Habitat

Kinkajous live in dense rainforest regions and spend the majority of their lives up in trees. 

Principal Threats

Though kinkajous are not endangered their principle threats are deforestation of their habitat and humans capturing them for the pet and fur trade.  Kinkajous have become a popular pet despite their aggressive nature.  They are also killed for their fur to be used to make wallets and horse saddles.

Potos flavus

Range Map

Range

Kinkajous live in the rainforests of Central and South America.  They live in dense rainforest regions.

Food

Kinkajous are primarily fruit and insect eaters.  They will, however, on occasion eat small vertebrates.  Due to the fact that they eat fruit and nectar, Kinkajous are important pollinators in the rainforests.  Pollen will often be transferred from flower to flower by way of kinkajou fur.

Reproductive Habits

A kinkajous gestation period lasts between 100-120 days.  Mother kinkajous take on full responsibility of the babies.  She will typically have one sometimes two babies at a time.  A baby kinkajou stays with its mother until it’s about 18 months of age.

Behavior

Kinkajous are nocturnal animals that live in trees for most of their lives.  They travel from tree to tree, high up in the branches that overlap.  Kinkajous will find a small hollow of a tree each day to sleep.  They are very aggressive by nature and can inflict a lot of damage onto an unsuspecting attacker.

Conservation

Currently Kinkajous are not endangered.  Though they are rarely seen, their numbers are high.  They are difficult to study because they are nocturnal, secretive, and live high up in the canopies of the rainforests.  Ending the pet trade of exotic animals however will help keep their numbers high.  Kinkajous have, in the recent years become a popular, yet very dangerous pet

Fun Facts

  • Kinkajous have tails that are prehensile - they can use it as an 5th hand to climb from and balance from branch to branch in the tall trees in which they live
  • Kinkajous have long tongues that measure up to 5 inches; these tongues are used to collect nectar from flowers and capture insects, two very vital parts of their diet
  • Kinkajous are known as Honey Bears and the Devil's Teddy Bear
  • Kinkajous are classified as carnivores because they have carnassial teeth.  They, however, mostly eat fruit and insects, though on occasion they will eat small vertibrates