Wily Kinkajou Found in Wise County Home

Kinkajou dubbed Rat by sheriff's deputies due to disposition

By Frank Heinz
|  Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013  |  Updated 1:25 PM CDT
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Wily Kinkajou Found in Wise County Home

Wise County Sheriff's Department

"Rat" the kinkajou.

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A Wise County Sheriff's Deputy was bitten while trying to take a unique mammal into custody over the weekend.

Police were called after someone found what they thought was a monkey inside their home.

Officers arrived and attempted to take the small creature into custody, but he resisted and bit the sheriff's deputy through his protective gloves. Depsite his objections, the animal was eventually corralled and removed from the home.

Safely ensconced at the Wise County Animal Shelter, or so it was believed, the animal, now identified as a kinkajou, soon broke free from confinement and began antagonizing several cats.

The kinkajou, still a little testy with officials, was again trapped.

Now dubbed Rat, a shortened and more affectionate version of the nickname bestowed upon him by sheriff's deputies who didn't care for his disposition, the kinkajou will spend a few days in a secure quarantine area where he can also be monitored for rabies.

Officials speculate that Rat was a pet that was either turned loose or escaped, the latter at which he's proven to be very adept.

Wise County Animal Control is now working with the North Texas Humane Society to determine what to do with the animal long term. Several online resources indicate Kinkajous can be quite tame when raised in a social, human environment and are not altogether uncommon as exotic house pets.

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

While resembling a primate, the kinkajou is more closely related to a raccoon -- a fact which may further explain its disposition when cornered.

The deputy bitten by Rat was not seriously injured and is taking antibiotics.

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