Mammals of Guatemala

It's really interesting as a New Zealander to travel overseas and see the local mammals, because New Zealand has so few of its own.   In fact, the only land mammals which are native to New Zealand are two types of bat, and these bats don't even fly around for people to see - instead they spend most of their time with their wings folded, walking around the forest floor on their elbows.   What fun, then, to come to suburban America and see chipmunks and squirrels running around, or to see foxes walking down the side of the road, or beavers on TV attacking the cherry trees in the middle of Washington DC!

I wasn't in Guatemala long enough to see many of the local mammals, in fact it hadn't occurred to me that I would see any.   But walking around Tikal we saw several, including monkeys, which were too high in the dense jungle foliage to get photos of.   Jaguars and pumas also roam this area, but they are very rarely seen and I'm not too disappointed that I didn't see them!   The animals at Tikal are accustomed to humans, and even take advantage of our presence.   Some people might find this unpleasant, but I was happy for the chance to see them.   Just think of it as an upscale zoo where the inhabitants are free to come and go as they please.

These gray foxes are wandering around the plazas at Tikal, hoping for a handout from the tourists.   But they're not totally dependent on people, no sir, as the photo below shows, they're quite capable of making their own amusement.

a gray fox standing at the base of a tree
gray foxes playing

This is another resident of Tikal, a white-faced coatimundi.   Noble and savage, these beasts prowl their ancient domain...


...searching for tourists and all manner of processed foodstuffs.

coatimundi begging for food from tourist