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Zoo Temporarily Caring for Abandoned Kinkajou

The kinkajou found abandoned at a rest stop on June 23 in Yakima underwent a comprehensive wellness exam this week at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, where he is temporarily living.

Head Veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf says he is in fair health overall, but is very thin, weighing only 2.5 pounds. Male kinkajous typically weigh around 3 to 10 pounds. He has a good appetite and zoo staff are feeding him a full and healthy diet.

kinkajou at PDZA
Photo of kinkajou behind the scenes at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Dr. Karen is awaiting results of diagnostic testing, including comprehensive blood work, to get a complete assessment of his health. He will continue to be cared for behind the scenes while we work with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to find him his forever home.

kinkajou rescue
Photo Courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The kinkajou was rescued by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife police after reports were made of a kinkajou on the loose. Zoo staff quickly mobilized, working with state wildlife officials, to find a safe place for this rainforest mammal. Upon arrival, he was immediately quarantined at the zoo’s animal hospital for onsite care.

This young kinkajou’s survival is a testament to the collaborative efforts of state wildlife law enforcement and the zoo, highlighting the dangers of the illegal pet trade. While kinkajous are not endangered, they are hunted for fur, meat, and the exotic pet trade, threatening their wild population.

kinkajou rescue
Photo Courtesy of Washington State Department of Transportation

Kinkajous live in tropical rainforests from southern Mexico through Brazil. They are small carnivores with prehensile tails, often mistakenly called primates. Despite their cuteness, kinkajous do not make good pets.