Fun Facts for Kids
The sweet kinkajou–with its large eyes and round ears–is from Central and South America and hangs from trees and lives on fruit. It spreads the seeds of plants, and disperses pollen spores. When it munches flowers, it gets pollen on its face, and carries it to the next plant.
They are also very loud, and bark and scream. Sometimes their calls even sound like a sneeze. They are related to raccoons, coatis, and cuataquils, and vary in color from brown to a tawny color. Some have black stripes along their backs.
Kinkajous share traits in common with monkeys, like a prehensile tail to hang from trees, and also live in groups. They have a pointed nose, and can grow to about 50 in (130 cm). Kinkajous can weigh up to 10 lbs (4.5 kg). Their legs are short, and have a five-inch (13 cm) long tongue to scoop out fruit, and sometimes gobble ants.
Though called the honey bear, it is only their nickname. Kinkajous seldom eat honey in the wild—but are only too happy to eat it in zoos.
They do not like loud sounds, and while placid by nature–they have sharp claws and can deliver a terrible bite. And even though they are not endangered, kinkajous are made homeless when trees are cut down, and they are also hunted as bush meat. Their skin can be used like leather, and kinkajous are illegally sold as pets on the black market.