Mountain Coati (Nasuella olivacea) - Mindo, Ecuador
As confirmed by two experts this is a rare procyonid from the cloud forests of Ecuador, the mountain coati (Nasuella olivacea) not to be confused with the similar and common coatis of the Nasua genus. Listed as data deficient by IUCN, not much is known about these coatis, their population status is a mystery and its not even clear how far their range extends. What is known is that it they are very rare to see and there are only a handful of (correctly identified) photos existing of this species in the wild, now there is one more! I was very lucky to see and get this photo of one of the least known and potentially most endangered procyonids.
The story behind this shot is that I was walking quietly through the jungle when I heard something off in the distance. I crouched down and started looking for it, before long I saw a shape in the undergrowth. I could tell it was a coati but I could see that it looked a little odd. The coati moved along riffling through the leaf litter and I waited careful not to make a sound. During this time the coati had moved closer and at one point took a break from its search for food and lifted its head, I took a photo then. Immediately upon hearing the sound of the shutter (from ~15m/45 ft away) the coati looked in my direction which is when I snapped this 2nd photo. After that the coati turned tail and rushed off into the depths of the forest. I have not had wildlife react to the sound of the shutter from so far away before so i was surprised at this reaction, but never the less very happy to have gotten some shots.