Miami, Florida - A 99-year-old woman was sleeping peacefully at 2:00 in the morning, this past January, when she started to wake up… something furry was under her chin. When she opened her eyes, she saw a strange creature, about two feet long, curled up on her chest. Screaming, she pushed the creature off her chest and grabbed the phone to call for help.
Cathy Mogari, a family friend, rushed to the old lady’s house. Still frightened, the woman managed to tell Cathy that the animal had escaped into the attic. Cathy climbed up to take a look and saw a furry brown monkey-like creature with a long tail. Because of her experience with exotic animals, she knew what it was - a kinkajou! (Related to raccoons, kinkajous live in rain-forests in Central and South America. They are nocturnal tree-dwellers and use their long tails as extra arms. Though they’re usually timid, they can give a nasty bite.)
Not sure exactly how to catch a kinkajou, Cathy found a few videos of kinkajou sounds online. When she played the videos, the kinkajou peered out of the attic. Cathy used cherries as bait to lure the frightened animal into a cage and took it to an animal hospital. After a local news station ran a story on the kinkajou, the hospital received a call from Ray Fernandez, the kinkajou’s owner. Ray’s exotic pet, named Banana, had escaped about a week earlier, when he had moved her into a temporary cage. Ray had set out a trap for his runaway kinkajou, but, until he saw the news story, had given up hope of finding her.
Shortly afterward, Ray and Banana were reunited. Ray was very relieved at finding his exotic pet, and Banana seemed happy to be safe at home again!