Kinkajou Captured after Startling Texas Residents

Thursday, 07 Feb 2013 10:09 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Despite what officers originally thought, the animal they captured in Texas over the weekend that startled homeowners, a deputy, and terrorized kittens wasn’t a monkey, but a kinkajou.

Police in Wise County, Texas received a call over the weekend from someone saying there was a monkey near their home. When officers corralled and tried to capture it, the animal — actually a kinkajou — reportedly bit a deputy through the deputy officer's puncture-proof gloves, local station MyFoxNews reported.

The officer was not seriously injured and is on antibiotics.

The animal was taken to the Wise County Animal Shelter, where it was caged, but quickly escaped its confines. The kinkajou was found antagonizing a group of nearby cats before it was recaptured.

The kinkajou, a nocturnal mammal, may look like a monkey, but it's actually a close relative of the raccoon. While they are generally playful and docile, they can occasionally become aggressive if confronted by sudden movements or noise.

Police speculate that the kinkajou was a pet that either escaped or was turned loose.

Officers have named the creature Rat, which they told MyFoxNews is short for Rat Bastard, a nod to the kinkajou's temperament.

The shelter is working with the North Texas Humane Society to determine what will happen to the animal long-term.

According to National Geographic, kinkajous are sometimes referred to as honey bears given their tendency to slurp honey from a hive using their long, thin tongues. They are native to Central and South America and can, interestingly, turn their feet backward and run in either direction.

A similar incident occurred in Florida last year, when a man's pet Pigtail Macaque monkey freed itself from its backyard cage and terrorized the neighborhood, traveling from house to house, jumping on a police car and even nibbling on a satellite dish, ABC News reported.

"He actually came up and jumped up and tried to bite my arm right here. And his last tooth just kind of nicked it," Sanford, Fla., resident Jason Diel told ABC News.

The monkey, named Zeke, was reportedly captured and taken to an animal refuge.
 
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