I have never seen a coati before my travel to Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, in 2011. These lovely creatures stroll around the National Park without worrying about human beings. They don’t feel scare of us at all. My encounter with them was a surprise not only because I have never seen this slightly upward-turned nose animal before but also because a group of scareless coatis approached a tourist and took away his belongings, a coca-cola, drank it and then left the empty coke on the floor. That made us laugh. After the robbery, they sat and preened each other regardless of the people looking at them. They looked so cute and friendly that they made me think that I would love to touch them, and maybe a lot of visitors want to do it too because all the brochures of the park indicate not to do it. I guess this is because the coatis usually get close to people.
After my encounter with coatis, I searched for information about them. They are native of South America, Central America and south-western North America. The adults measure 33 to 69 cm (13 to 27 inches) from head to the base of the tail, which can be as long as their bodies, and 30 cm (12 in) tall at the shoulder, about the size of a large house cat. They are ring-tailed like cats but belong to the family of the racoons. According to Wikipedia, their diet consists mainly of ground litter invertebrates, small vertebrates and fruit; though it seems that after contact with humans in the Brazilian subtropical rain forest they also drink coca-cola.
If you want to take a look at coatis in group and some preening each other, visit my other link about this unexpected meeting.