A centenarian wakes up with a kinkajou in her bed

Photo credit: South Dade Avian and Exotic Animal Center

An elderly woman in Miami had a big surprise when she woke up to discover that an exotic animal was stroking her face.

Late last Monday night, the woman, whose name was kept secret, was startled when she found herself in bed face to face with a kinkajou, an animal that looks like a cross between a raccoon and a monkey. The woman then screamed in panic and the animal rushed into the attic.

Cathy Moghari, a friend of the family, then came to try to catch and rescue the 60 cm long creature, which she recognized as a kinkajou thanks to her good knowledge of exotic animals. “I started to think about how we were going to get him out of there. So I googled kinkajou calls and found a video,” she told CNN. Her Internet search was successful and she was able to play kinkajou sounds over her speakers, which caught the mammal’s attention. Moghari then used cherries to lure the hungry and frightened animal into a cage.

On Tuesday morning, the kinkajou arrived at an exotic animal medical center where veterinarian Don Harris was able to monitor its health. “I had to tranquilize it because the animal was scared and could have counterattacked with a nasty bite,” he says. Kinkajous are nocturnal animals that spend most of their time in trees, according to National Geographic.

They are able to turn their feet back to easily run back and forth between branches or back and forth over tree trunks. Although they are particularly shy, they can be dangerous because of their sharp teeth. Although the animal was frightened and hungry, the health assessment of this five-year-old kinkajou was excellent.

After information about this mysterious animal made the rounds of the radios in the United States, the creature’s owner came forward. Ray Fernandez contacted the veterinarian and found his hairball on Wednesday morning, which answers to the name of Banana.

To make work in its house, its owner had to lock it temporarily in a cage… from which it managed to escape. Banana had been on the run for about a week. “I left some food in plain sight and a trap, but I never found her… She had gone far enough away from where she escaped,” says Fernandez. Fortunately, Banana has now returned home, where she can sleep on her two little ears again.