No matter where there are humans, there is a raccoon-like creature that will eventually come sniffing around, and the Sugar Beach hotel grounds are no exception. Our resident foragers are the Coatimundi – known locally as pizote – and this member of the raccoon family is as wily as the urban variety, but ever so much more endearing.
With a long, white-tipped snout, prehensile tail and an intelligently alert demeanor, this omnivore is quick to identify an easy handout, and groups can often be seen trundling through the undergrowth in search of the day’s scraps. Indeed, we recommend our guests keep their patio doors closed when not in their quarters, as this clever creature has been known to become an opportunistic intruder!
While hand-feeding or leaving food out is decidedly not encouraged – with any of the wildlife in Costa Rica – there is no reason to fear for the coati’s well-being; the dry tropical forest surrounding the Hotel Sugar Beach is plentiful in the fruit, insects, leaves and lizards on which they feed.
It’s an easy feat to distinguish the two sexes by the company they keep: the smaller female coatis tend to remain in family group of up to 30 members, while the larger males roam solitarily for most of the year, approaching the groups only during mating season.