Kinkajou (Potus flavus)
The Zoo is home to one male kinkajou, Palmer, who was born in June 2003 at the Central Florida Zoological Park and came to the Zoo in October 2003 as part of the Education Collection. He is now retired and living in the Main Building.
Status in the Wild
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least concern. However, kinkajou numbers are falling as a result of deforestation and fur hunting. In many places, kinkajous are hunted for their dense fur. The meat of the animal may also be eaten.
Kinkajous range from eastern and southern Mexico through Belize and Costa Rica in Central America and down as far south as Ecuador and southern Brazil in South America.They are found in a variety of habitats,from mature tropical forests to heavily disturbed and secondary forests. Their preferred habitat is the neotropical forest canopy.
Although kinkajous are evolutionarily derived from meat-eating ancestors, they primarily eat fruit. They particularly like to eat figs, grapes, bananas, melons, apples, mangos, sapodilla and cherimoya. Since fruit is seasonal and not always available, their frugiverous diet is supplemented with insects, leaves and in the dry season, they often eat flowers for their nectar.
- The average lifespan of a kinkajou is between 20 and 24 years, with some living as long as 29 years.
- Juveniles increase their mass by 12 times in the first six months following birth.
- Although not particularly rare, kinkajous are seldom seen because of their strict nocturnal habits and preference for upper canopy habitat.