At the resort we stayed at, the boardwalk from the pool area to the beach wends it way through a tangled thicket of mangroves. In those mangroves are dozens of coati mundi. They are awake during the day and are always hopeful that someone will feed them. And, while they would approach us, they were still guarded and would scurry away at the slightest provocation--like say if some unnamed kid would try to pet them gently on their cute head...
They are related to raccoons and Jorge (a hotel worker who was from Mexico City and majored in TV production and is now a "friend" at this hotel) told me that they will eat anything when I asked him if they are vegetarians. They really behave very much like raccoons.
The kids adored them.
The mangroves host all sorts of animals. We found the iguana in the magroves lazing in a tree. Meanwhile these amazing startling blue and black birds were shrieking in the scrubby mangrove trees right above the coatis' heads. They are Yucatan Jays, as in jay birds as in blue jays that we get right here in Very-Republican-Town, Illinois. These are their southern cousins.
Aren't these such dramatic birds? They are beautiful aren't they? I think they are really striking.
As we would walk to the beach, a few coatis would come out onto the boardwalk and the yucatan jays would hop through the slender branches and we would hear the waves crashing to shore and the salty breezes would blow our hair. It was wonderful.
I don't know who this guy is, but I'll include him here because he was quite the magnificent fellow.