A Kinkajou Was Found Abandoned At A Washington Rest Stop, Thousands Of Miles Away From Its Natural Rainforest Habitat

ondrejprosicky - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual kinkajou

At a rest stop in Washington, officials found a kinkajou, also known as a honey bear, roaming around. Kinkajous are indigenous to the rainforests of Mexico, Central America, and South America, so this creature was thousands of miles away from its natural habitat.

It is unknown how the kinkajou got to Washington, but experts suspect the animal was purchased illegally before being abandoned and left to fend for itself in the dry, arid climate. It was discovered darting along a stretch of desert on Interstate 82, just outside of Yakima, Washington.

According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the kinkajou was “very thin” and weighed only 2.5 pounds at the time of its rescue. It weighed four pounds less than the average weight of a kinkajou.

The creature was rescued by the state’s Fish and Wildlife Department. Currently, it is recovering at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington, while officials search for a permanent home for it.

Veterinarians are making sure that it is not carrying any diseases and will perform a comprehensive wellness examination during its temporary stay at the zoo.

Honey bears are nocturnal carnivores that belong to the Procyonidae family, consisting of coatis, olingos, ringtails, and raccoons. Kinkajous also have prehensile tails. This means that their tails have developed the ability to hold and grasp objects, which is particularly helpful for finding and eating food in the trees.

They have wide, round ears, big dark eyes, and sandy yellow fur. They look like a cross between a monkey and a miniature-sized bear, which often leads to them being mistaken for primates.

Their thick, woolly coats provide protection from the rain in tropical jungles. Their feet have webbed finger-like toes and sharp claws that help them climb trees easily.

The name kinkajou translates to “golden drinker,” which is all too fitting since they enjoy the sweet taste of nectar. They even raid bee hives for the sugar-rich liquid. It’s also how the name honey bear came about.

ondrejprosicky – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual kinkajou

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