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Bassariscus astutus

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Great Southwest

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Ringtails are relatives of the raccoon and inhabit desert canyons, especially areas with rocky outcrops, caves and mine shafts. Strictly nocturnal, ringtails use their large eyes and keen sense of smell to locate food, including rodents, birds, invertebrates, and plant material. They are excellent mousers. Early settlers, having discovered this fact, would keep them as pets to keep their cabins free of mice. They came to be known as "miner's cats." Ringtails are skilled climbers and leapers, and can negotiate steep canyon walls or trees, using their agile feet and long tails for balance. Predators of ringtails include great horned owls, bobcats and coyotes.

Our Animal's Story

We currently have 2 ringtail exhibits. Rambo was born in the wild in 2010 and he occupies the exhibit with the well in the center. While we make a practice of not taking healthy animals from the wild, Rambo had been labeled a nuisance animal. After being relocated twice, authorities decided it was best for him to go to a zoo. Rambo came to us in 2011 and can be mischievous. Violet is a rescue animal from the San Antonio Zoo in Texas. She arrived here in October 2016 to be a breeding partner for Rambo. They successfully bred and 4 kits were born at ZooAmerica on July 26, 2018. Violet and 1 of her young are in the larger exhibit with the shack and the tree while 2 kits now live at another zoo.

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