At home on her shoulder

In response to the Daily Post’s photo challenge I say (well, Christian Morgenstern says if we’re being particular), “Home is not where you live but where they understand you.”

Kinkajous naturally live in the heart of rainforests but this little guy is only truly happy when he’s around his human, Megan.

Stanley and MeganI have never seen a kinkajou until I visited the Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica. I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even know this creature’s name but it scores pretty high on the cute scale.

I’m all for keeping animals in their natural habitat. They belong at home with Mama and Papa Kinkajou and not at a zoo for our viewing pleasure. But Stanley (the little guy in the picture) is an exception. You see, kinkajous are nocturnal animals. They sleep in hollow trees during the day and wake up at night to hunt insects, small birds and find honey (that’s why they’re also called honey bears). Stanley, as you can see in the picture, is out and about during the day because he is blind. Sunlight is meaningless to him which means he could very well go for a walk and swing from one tree branch to another (relying on his sense of smell) in broad daylight making himself easy prey for foxes, jaguars and evil humans. Basically, he cannot fend for himself in the big, scary rainforest. I’m not sure how he found his way to the sanctuary but I believe he’s better off in the care of loving humans like Megan.

That said, kinkajous should not be kept as pets! According to Animal Care, kinkajous are playful and curious. They are generally tame, however, some owners report unpredictable, vicious attacks by their kinkajous even after several years of non-aggression. They have really sharp teeth and claws as well as a powerful tail. Don’t be fooled by those eyes!

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