Sweet little Shaman, the new kinkajou

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A SWEET-TOOTHED honey monster has become the latest arrival at Edinburgh Zoo after the attraction unveiled its new kinkajou.

The one-year-old male kinkajou is called Shaman and arrived at the park in December last year. Since then he has been working with the zoo's education department before being taken out to greet visitors.

Kinkajous are also known as "honey bears" both because of their colour and because they are known to feed on honey.

The nocturnal animals, members of the racoon family, are mainly found in the upper canopy of the tropical forests of southern Mexico and Brazil. Numbers of the species are declining as a result of deforestation and hunting for their fur.

They tend to spend most of the day sleeping, emerging at night to feed. They swing from branches using their long tails and have a long tongue to extract the pulpy centres from fruit as well as nectar from flowers.

While the animals feed mostly on fruit, they are also known to eat insects, honey and even small vertebrates.

Shaman will take part in daily presentations with the zoo's education team, allowing more people to find out about his species, their behaviour and their survival techniques.

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