The natural care of exotic pets relies heavily on knowledge of their wild habitat, diet, etc. Today, our guest, Maria Kruk, introduces us to an uncommon exotic pet, the Kinkajou.
The Kinkajou as an Exotic Pet
By Maria Kruk
Although they are recognized as a predatory species, the Kinkajou appears to be one of the exotic pets people can have. The variety of exotic animal companions increases from year to year, as people strive to domesticate even the most intricate species, but this one is really a rare occasion.
Kinkajous are the size of a common cat but their name is translated as “Honey Bear”, marking their sweet tooth. There are a lot of interesting issues concerning Kinkajou species, including their “membership” amongst predators, the contradiction of being rare animals and an exotic pet at the same time, and animal care aspects.
First of all, it is indeed a predatory animal, which belongs to Procyonidae family (they are the only representatives of the Potos group). In the wild, they prefer a nocturnal lifestyle, hunting small birds, amphibians, lizards and even small mammals with the help of nimble paws and sharp claws. Considering the adorable and lovely appearance of Kinkajous, it is really hard to imagine such a picture.
In contrast, if Kinkajous are raised in captivity where human care is present, they might be easily domesticated. However, catching a Kinkajou is really a rare occasion. Despite a large area of distribution, they are very unlikely to be in rainforests nowadays, especially in the daytime. Specifically, their main habitat embraces the tropical woods of Central and South America.
Fruits are the main, and probably the most appetizing, specialty of Kinkajous. So, one should consider having a large fruit garden before taking a “Honey Bear” as a pet! Kinkajous can also attack entire beehives, eating both the honey and its insects. Apparently, it is a reason behind their “Honey Bear” nickname.
Lemur, cat and bear in one shape – this is what a Kinkajou looks like. It is not fussy, but balanced and friendly. In a home environment, Kinks are really peaceful and funny animals, especially when they receive some fancy delicacy on a regular basis. These might be fruits, cottage cheese, yogurt, raw and boiled eggs.
Besides diet, there is other important stuff to know. Namely, the price of Kinkajou baby is a bit high, starting from $1800. The other issue to consider is if it is legal to have Kinkajous as a pet in your area. Having an exotic pet requires special permission from your local wildlife regulator, especially when it is recognized as an endangered species. Decline in the Kinkajou population is due to massive deforestation of tropical regions, hunting Kinkajous for their meat and fur, and the pet trade. Therefore, it is obvious that special permission is a must-have thing before acquiring a “Honey Bear”.
- Only captive-bred specimens should be purchased once legal obligations have been met.
- The Kinkajou has sharp teeth and claws and their behavior can be unpredictable. They may carry Kingella potus in their saliva that can infect a bite wound and cause serious illness. We recommend that they be handled with care and kept away from children.
=========== Author Bio ===========
Maria Kruk is an author for Species.com.
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