July 21, 2019 - We went to Cozumel today. My buddies Tommy and Angel came with us to Playa to hang out for a few days and wanted to do some exploring. So we decided to take them to Cozumel Island to sight see. Of course we took off super late and only spent about an hour playing by the beach.
I really wanted to go, but it wasn’t for beers and the beach. DOn’t get me wrong, the beers were a super bonus. But I was after a golden prize - the Cozumel pygmy raccoon and I hoped to see the pygmy coati as well.. So when we arrived on the island, I asked our taxi driver the best place for a shot at seeing them. He sent us to resort beach area on the South side of the island. He told me they would hang around the restaurant seeking out hand outs.
Well, after settling in on the beach, we rented some chairs, ordered a few beers and food from a waiter. I asked them where the best spot is to see raccoons was. The guy smiled and said, wait till the food arrives and they will show up.
It wasn’t very long before I saw the first coati. Right at the forest line on the beach, a family of pygmy coatis were there next to a dive shop, drinking water. The dive shop there, puts out big bowls of water for the animals to drink from. I quickly went over there and snapped away. Super fired up about seeing this endemic species for the first time. Shortly after that, and the reason for my visit to this beach appeared - the pygmy raccon, walked out of the bush and into the dive shop. This animal was not shy at all.
I was on fire! One of the rarest predators on our planet, due to their small geographic range, something like only 250-300 are left. So despite the animal being comfortable and not shy, I felt extremely privileged at being able to see one of these little beauties in the wild.
At one point, the raccoon climbed up into a coconut tree. I positioned myself under the tree and snapped images every time the raccoon looked down at me. For images this was perfection. Having this island predator on an iconic island tree was such a great opportunity. The raccoon tried to get comfortable, but just couldn’t and eventually climbed down. When she did, I was right there under her, ready to photograph her descent.
We spent about two hours hanging out at the beach, my loves played in the water and I stayed on shore snapping away, super happy with our day. I had a blast and am really fired up about coming back for more opportunities to photograph these beautiful little predators.