Area of zoo
Orange Zone
Enclosure status
IUCN status
Least Concern
Scientific name
Nasua nasua
South America
Forest and forest edges
A brown-nosed coati in a tree at London Zoo

What do brown-nosed coatis look like? 

Coatis are members of the racoon family. Brown-nosed coatis - also known as South American coatis - have brown, grey or rust-red coats and a long brown and yellow ringed tail which they use to balance as they climb and walk across slim branches.

They have a narrow skull and long squidgy nose that they can snuffle for food in crevices with. They also have a dark snout with white patches around their cheeks, eyes and neck. Amazingly they can reverse their ankle joints in order to run down trees head first!

What do brown-nosed coatis eat? 

As opportunistic feeders, coatis eat whatever is available to them depending on the season. This includes a variety of fruit and invertebrates like spiders, crabs and millipedes. They will also eat lizards, snakes, eggs and rodents. 

In a way, coatis act as farmers in the forest, picking and eating fruit and then dispersing seeds in their droppings – effectively planting new fruit trees.

What threats do brown-nosed coatis face in the wild?

Coatis are currently classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, but face the threat of habitat loss due to deforestation. These animals are also hunted by locals for their meat. 

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A brown-nosed coati in a tree at London Zoo

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Coati facts
  • Coatis are largely diurnal, meaning they are active in the day, they spend much of their time foraging in trees and on the ground.
  • At night time they sleep up in the trees curled into balls with their noses tucked into their bellies. 
  • A brown-nosed coati at London Zoo
    Finding the coatis

    London Zoo Map

    Look out for our brown-nosed coatis in Animal Adventure

  • A father with his son on the slide in Animal Adventure at London Zoo
    Children's play park

    Animal Adventure

    London Zoo’s children's zoo and playpark brings little ones closer to nature through play!

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    Lama glama


    Llamas are adapted to survive in extreme high altitude environments, despite now being more commonly seen as domesticated farm animals.

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    Cynictis penicillata

    Yellow mongoose

    These mongoose can be found cohabiting with meerkats and ground squirrels across southern Africa.

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