Brown nosed Coatis grow their own vegetables in zoo enclosure

Employees at the Noah’s Ark Zoo in Bristol were filled with surprise when they found the brown nosed coatis growing fruits for themselves in the zoo enclosure. With the country reeling under economic recession forcing people to grow vegetables and fruits in their own backyards, the brown nosed coatis are perhaps following the suit and growing tomatoes in the enclosure in the South American section of the zoo.

The group of coatis, which is made up of three males and two females, are fed tomatoes as part of their normal diet. Coatis are omnivores and have a mixed diet of fruit and vegetables combined with a protein diet of meat and eggs. The coatis consumed the tomatoes and then excreted the seeds, so natural seed dispersal has occurred which has led to several tomato plants sprouting up.

Keeper Emma Godsell explains; “At first I was wondering what the plants were, we were getting ready to pull them out to tidy up the enclosure and then I noticed the tomatoes growing on there.

It is actually the male coatis who succeeded in growing the biggest amount, they now have 11 plants in their enclosure. We will leave the plants in there for now and when they ripen let the coatis enjoy the benefits of their successful crop”.

The male coatis are made up of the adult male father called Charlie and two juvenile boys called Clifford and Clark. The coatis are on public display to visitors in the South American section of the zoo.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is open Monday- Saturday, 10.30am-5.00pm until 30th November, then it is open Saturdays only until 14th December inclusive.