Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Give Up

This little fellow, who goes by the name of Happy, or maybe it was Mappy, is the pet of the museum caretaker at Las Labradas. We were enchanted - he was just so darned cute.

Mappy/Happy greets everyone who arrives at the musuem and when bored, wanders over to the hammock for a swing. He has sharp little teeth but did no more than nibble gently on the odd toe. I think he was more interested in what we had in our coolers. He joined us for lunch - the potato chips were a big hit, as was the piece of cantelope. He was not as impressed with tuna or cheese and balony sandwiches and is defintely not a fan of carrots. I know you're not supposed to 'feed the animals' and we are very strict about what we feed Abi, but his owner said it was fine, so ...

However, the caretaker speaks no English and unfortunately our Spanish is still quite weak. We speak pretty good restaurant Spanish, and our grocery store Spanish is getting quite fluent, but when it comes down to details, as in, "what on earth is that?" we are at a loss. We were told by another visitor that he was a 'dejon/dajan/deejuun??' and she also mentioned that there used to be a rather large colony on one of the small islands visible from the beaches of the Zona Dorada (Golden Zone).

I have googled every variation of the word and have had no luck at all. I've tried to find a picture, on-line, with a name. Still no luck.

Mappy/Happy is about 18 inches long and probably weighs around 20 pounds. He has a long nose, somewhat like a dogs, but his nose is very 'perky'. His tail is long, over 2 feet and usually sticks straight up. He has very dainty hands, with longish claws, and holds his food like a squirrel with he eats. He looks a little bit like a racoon, or a possom, or maybe a bit like a wombat (this suggestion from the Australians who were admiring his antics).

So, anyone have any ideas?


  1. Hi,
    I have been following your blog for about the last year and really enjoy your postings and your pictures so keep taking them. My husband and I really enjoy our times in Mexico and are looking forward to the time when we can live there for 6 months of the year. I did some research on the animal you have pictures of and I think it may be a Mexican possum (tlacuaches). I found a video on YouTube and here is the link if you want to have a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hABNqvXvFsc&feature=related
    Thanks again for all your great posts.
    Trudy Agar

  2. Koati. They are related to the Racoon family.

  3. Another possibility


  4. I would second and third the Coatimundi. We had them in Arizona, too. Usually pretty shy, though.

  5. I believe they are coatimundi,too - a member of the raccoon family. Google it and see what you think!

  6. Thanks to all who helped me out here - he's definitely a coatimundi!

  7. Cute animal whatever he is! He looks like one of my cats at least his tail does.His fur is very beautiful almost as beautiful as a cat's. But he is not a cat! I know that for sure.Please could you post me a picture of a Mexican cat or better Mexican cats.Thanking you muchly.

  8. Patty, for you I will take pictures of cats. In fact, I have a very good friend who has a Kitty Orphanage and she currently is caring for 9 of them. I'll pay her a visit this week, and take lots and lots of Mexican kitty pictures for you.

  9. I stumbled on your blog last night and have really been enjoying it! We just missed you last year, as we left Mazatlán on 4 March and we didn't get back there last winter.

    I see from Wikipedia, that in Mexico the coati is often referred to as a tejón (meaning badger), so that is probably the word you heard.