Micke Grove Zoo

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Bassariscus astutus

  • Habitat: varied habitats from oak forests, woodlands, chaparral habitats, deserts, and rocky cliffs
  • Range: widely distributed through south and south-western Mexico and U.S.A
  • Natural Diet: fruit, insects, rodents, and birds
  • Status in the Wild: Common

Fun Facts

  • Ringtails are nocturnal and have excellent eye sight that help them navigate and to hunt for prey in the dark
  • They are expert climbers and are able to climb trees, rocky outcrops, and cliffs. Ringtails also have the ability of turning their wrists and ankles around which helps in climbing
  • Their light brown fur helps camouflage them and hide them from their predators. It is beleived that the rings on their tails also helps to distract predators
  • When ringtails when they are startled excrete a fowl musk like substance to deter predators
  • They live in dens made in tree hollows, rock crevices, or abandoned burrows

Ringtails live in a variety of habitat types from chaparral (image above) to thick forests (image below)

Conservation Threats

  • Illegal hunting and trapping for fur has had a detrimental influence on their wild numbers

Ringtails has long whiskers that help them navigate at night


Enrichment such as elevated hollow logs and elevated wooden dens are added to the ringtail exhibit that are heavily used



Distributional range in North America