Bubba is a Pizote (Coati) that came to us because he was abandoned by his troop. He was brought to the sanctuary at 4 weeks old and was not in good shape. With bottle feedings and lots of love, he is now a healthy adolescent. He enjoys eating fruit and loves lounging in his hammock!
Coatis, also known as coatimundi or , Costa Rican pizote, are members of the raccoon family. They are diurnal mammals native to South America, Central America, and south-western North America. Their diet consists of fruit and little invertebrates such as tarantulas. They also eat small vertebrate prey, such as lizards, rodents, small birds, birds’ eggs, and crocodile eggs. The snout, with a formidable sense of smell, assists the skilled paws in a hog-like manner to unearth invertebrates.
They are known to also be aggressive when provoked, or for their defense, coatis can be fierce fighters. They have strong jaws, sharp canine teeth, and very fast scratching paws, along with a tough hide it makes it very difficult for potential predators to capture it! Interestingly, they are said to live about 8-9 years in the wild and 15+ in captivity.
Side Note: Dogs And Pizotes Don’t Mix
There are more than a few stories of dog encounters with the local Pizotes. Larger dogs will usually be the aggressor but they are typically no match for the much more agile Pizote who has a lifetime of experience fending off predators in the rainforest. When a domesticated dog addresses a wild Pizote, the Pizote will grab underneath a dog’s mouth with it’s front paws and then quickly claw deeply into the underbelly with it’s hind legs. This is never a good outcome for the dog and spending time at the vet or returning home with an empty dog kennel is not an ideal way to spend your vacation in Costa Rica.
If you insist on traveling with your pet, please keep them close to you at all times or in the care of a trusted resource when you are on an adventure tour but always keep them away from any Pizotes that you may come across.