MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A lost kinkajou that was found inside a 99-year-old woman's home in southwest Miami-Dade County was reunited with her owner Wednesday.
The kinkajou, whose name is Banana, is part of the raccoon family and is native to South and Central America.
Her owner, Raymond Fernandez, saw a story about his pet Tuesday on Local 10 News and contacted the veterinarian who was treating the critter.
"I got my baby back," Fernandez said. "I can't believe it. I thought she was lost forever."
Fernandez has had Banana for five years.
"I was tenting my house and I had to move her to my brother's house in a temporary cage, and she figured out a way to open it up," Fernandez said. "She's got really good hands."
Kinkajous are nocturnal animals that rarely are seen during the day, but the woman said she was awakened Sunday to find Banana sleeping on her chest.
"If the old lady had grabbed the kinkajou and the kinkajou had bitten her, it could have been a serious injury," Dr. Don Harris of South Dade Animal Hospital said.
The woman wasn't injured, but she said she screamed and then called a family friend to help after the animal went into her attic.
"She peeked out of the attic at her and we set a ladder up into the attic opening and left it there," family friend Cathy Moghari said.
Once they were able to lure the kinkajou into a cage, they took her to the animal hospital.
"She was tired, cold, hungry, traumatized, and all she really wanted to do was curl up in a ball and hide," Harris said.
But after some bananas and a reunion with her owner, Banana is happy again.
Fernandez said he plans to visit the woman in the next few days with his pet, but this time it will not be in the middle of the night.