An example of a baby kinkajou.
An example of a baby kinkajou.
Photo by MaRu180's Flickr, CC2.0

Adorable Kinkajou Terrorizes 99-Year-Old Woman in Most Adorable Way

The photo above is an example of a kinkajou. Not to get all Buzzfeed on you, but it is clearly adorable. Let's be honest, we'd all probably scroll through a post titled "19 Pictures of Kinkajous So Cute They'll Make You Cry Glitter and Rupture Your Heart Into a Thousand Glistening Rainbows." 

Kinkajous are native to South America, and though the creature looks like a cross between a monkey and ferret, its closest relative in North America is the raccoon. Like raccoons, kinkajous are nocturnal and occasionally carry diseases that are dangerous to humans. 

Despite this, some people like to import them and keep them as exotic pets. 

Paris Hilton owned a pet kinkajou in the '00s because, of course, that's something Paris Hilton did in the '00s. 

But in 2006, her pet kinkajou, "Baby Luv," bit the socialite, and her publicist had to rush her to the emergency room in the middle of the night

The animals are so adorable, but as Hilton can attest, not necessarily the most problem-free pets to own. 

Several Miamians have a Paris Hilton-like fondness for adorable exotic pets, so it's no surprise that a few kinkajous live locally. 

However, two nights ago in South Miami-Dade, a pet kinkajou escaped and startled a 99-year-old woman. 

According to Local 10, the kinkajou somehow made it into the bedroom of the unnamed near-centenarian and curled up on her chest. The woman awoke and, after realizing the animal was not a cat, screamed. The kinkajou responded by running off and hiding in the home's attic. The woman's daughter called a family friend. The friend downloaded kinkajou calls from the internet and was able to lure the animal into a cage. The animal was taken to South Dade Avian & Exotic Medical Center the next morning. 

Veterinarians were immediately aware that the animal was probably someone's pet.

"No undomesticated wild animal like this would curl up on a woman's chest to go to sleep," Dr. Don J. Harris told NBC Miami

The furry pet is expected to be reunited with its owner today. 

Kinkajous aren't known for being violent but can bite when threatened. Despite this animal's attempt to snuggle with the elderly woman, pet kinkajous don't have a good reputation for being especially snuggly lap animals. 

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that pet kinkajous can also carry a roundworm known as Baylisascaris procyonis. If the parasitic worm infects a human, it lives in the intestines, but its larvae then travel to the brain, where they can cause severe and often fatal damage. 

So, you know, try to bury your Paris Hilton instincts and don't rush out to get the special permits necessary to keep a pet kinkajou. 

But here's one more adorable picture (notice the claws): 

Adorable Kinkajou Terrorizes 99-Year-Old Woman in Most Adorable Way
Photo by Carnal Contessa's Flickr, CC2.0

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