It’s not everyday you read a story like this one. It may be what happens when you retire to Florida.

An elderly Miami woman made the discovery of several lifetimes this week when she woke up and found a “furry big animal” sleeping up on her chest.

The unplanned slumber party soon ended, however, as the woman and the animal “both screamed” and the creature then fled to her attic.

According to the veterinarian who later treated the animal, the woman’s strange bedfellow was a kinkajou, a nocturnal, tree-dwelling mammal native to Central and South America.

“This particular animal is kind of like a cross between a raccoon and a monkey,” said Dr. Don Harris of South Dade Animal Hospital. “They’re very dangerous if the person taking care of them isn’t knowledgeable and careful.”

Thankfully, both the woman and the kinkajou are now fine, but it’s still unclear where the animal came from or how he got into her house.

While kinkajous can legally be kept as pets with special permits, they, like all exotic animals, are ill-suited to life outside the wild.
“You don’t hear a lot of about kinkajous,” said Harris. “They don’t make good pets.”

If you think you’re ready to invite a strange creature into your home, find a dog or cat but definitely not a kinkajou on