See the Coati Animals in Costa Rica: Pizotes

Forget sloths and monkeys – the real stars of Costa Rica’s animal kingdom might surprise you! Enter the white-nosed coati, Costa Rica’s mischievous masked bandits. Locally known as the “pizote”, these masked marauders are all about sniffing out adventure, and a chance encounter with them is sure to leave you grinning. Look out, as they’re about to steal your heart (and maybe your snacks, but more on that later)!

I had many amazing adventures in Costa Rica like ziplining through the rain forest and relaxing in the famous Tabacon natural hot springs, but one of the most thrilling was being greeted by dozens of furry Coati animals.

Pizotes Pinterest

What are Coatimundi (Pizote)

Imagine a raccoon mixed with a tapir, then add a dash of lemur playfulness. That’s the pizote! These Costa Rica animals boast reddish-brown fur, a long, black snout with a white tip, and a ringed tail that swishes with curiosity. But don’t be fooled by their cute looks – these omnivores are skilled hunters, using their sharp noses and nimble paws to sniff out insects, fruits, and even small lizards.


What are their Favorite Foods and Predators

These busybodies are always on the hunt for their next tasty treat. Their diet is a smorgasbord of insects, fruits, lizards, and even the occasional bird egg.

But watch out, little coati—jaguars, ocelots, and even boas constrictors are their natural predators. Luckily, their keen sense of smell and agility help them stay one step ahead of danger.


Are Coati Dangerous?

Generally, white-nosed coatis are more curious than cuddly. While they might approach humans, especially in tourist areas, it’s best to admire them from afar. Feeding them can make them aggressive, and their sharp claws and teeth are no joke. Remember, they’re wild animals, not furry souvenirs.

A troop of them swarmed me while eating a granola bar and I immediately locked my in the car!


Where can you find them in Costa Rica?

These adaptable critters are practically everywhere in Costa Rica, from rainforests to beaches. Keep an eye out for them in places like Manuel Antonio National Park, Corcovado National Park, or even around Arenal Volcano. You might even spot them chilling by the side of the road, their ringed tails flicking curiously.

PS: I just saw one while hiking through the rainforest in Panama!

Coati Annette

There you have it, your crash course in coati Costa Rica appreciation. The pizote is more than just a furry bandit with a charming nose. They’re intelligent, adaptable, and vital players in the rainforest ecosystem.

Remember, encountering these guys is a privilege, not a right. By respecting their space, avoiding handouts, and observing responsibly, we can ensure these charismatic critters continue to thrive in the wild. Who knows, you might even score a selfie (from a safe distance, of course) – a bragging right that no souvenir shop can match.

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