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A 99-Year-Old Woman Woke Up With A Rainforest Creature In Her Bed

A rather terrifying way to awaken.

Originally posted on
Updated on

The elderly woman was home fast asleep when all of the sudden, she felt something on top of her, veterinarian Don Harris told BuzzFeed News.

"She feels something kind of stroking her face, she wakes up and she is face-to-face with this animal," said Harris, who treated the animal once it was brought to the South Dade Avian and Exotic Animal Medical Center.

The unidentified woman panicked, and the creature scurried up into the attic, her son-in-law, Carlos Aguaras, told NBC Miami.

"I was awakened by a phone call at 2 a.m., which is never good news, and it was from my terrified mother-in-law," he told the TV station.

Aguaras, friend Cathy Moghari, and Moghari's son raced over to the woman's house to try to figure out what was going on and determined the animal was a kinkajou, a mammal native to South and Central America.

The animals, also called "honey bears," are related to the raccoon. Harris described them as a raccoon that behaves like a monkey.


The group was able to coax the animal out by playing sounds from other kinkajous from a phone. They took the creature to Harris' center, where he examined the animal.

He said the kinkajou, which was being kept as a pet, was a "very peaceful animal."

"It was frightened, it was cold, it was a little dehydrated, but other than that, it was in pretty good condition," Harris said of the animal.

In the morning, he said the kinkajou seemed to have recovered from its excursion.

"It was the picture of health," Harris said.

The animal's owner reached out to the center after seeing his pet on the news, Harris said. The duo was reunited on Wednesday.

Kinkajous can only be kept as pets with a license, but Harris said they could injure someone with their bite.

He added that the animal is also unsuited to domestication because they are used to being in trees.

"To confine them in a home would be less than ideal for them," Harris said.

Aguaras said the family has a message for pet's owner: "Put it in the hands of the experts, but it's not intended to be a pet in a home," he told NBC 10.

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at

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