Two coatis came to the Fort Worth Zoo (TX) at the beginning of July named Ringo and Camilo (born in May). They are not brothers but have been together for almost their entire lives.
They are part of the outreach program/ambassador animals which means they interact with guests in different parts of the Zoo. Because of this, they are trained to present certain behaviors to ease their daily care and transportation throughout the Zoo. They are trained to voluntarily get in their crates and walk on a leash with a harness. They are also trained to “come” and to follow a target.
When they first arrived at the Zoo, they were brought on daily walks in different areas of the Zoo to allow them to become accustomed to all the sights and smells they will encounter on a daily basis.
They will be trained to present different behaviors that show off their natural skills. For example, they may be trained to demonstrate their climbing abilities or show off their strong sense of smell by sniffing something out.
They are given rewards when they successfully demonstrate a behavior. In the attached videos, you’ll see them walking on a leash, following a target and climbing to receive their treats. You’ll see the coatis resting on their keepers’ arm – this is a behavior that allows them to practice their climbing and balance.
Worms are buried in sand to help them display natural sniffing behaviors to locate the food.
Coatis are natural climbers. Because Ringo and Camilo are young, they are provided with a climbing structure to safely practice their climbing abilities.
Ringo and Camilo can be seen during stage shows at the Outdoor Learning Theater at the Zoo. They also will visit Zoo classrooms.