Meet Rat Bastard, the Lovable South American Kinkajou that Briefly Terrorized Wise County

Categories: Animal Welfare

Thumbnail image for Kinkajou.jpg
Fun fact: The kinkajou is also known as the honey bear.
Over the weekend, the Wise County Sheriff's Department received a call unusual in the decidedly nontropical climes of North Texas: There was a monkey was the loose.

Turns out, it wasn't a monkey. It was a kinkajou. And deputies discovered that kinkajous don't really like people, or anything else for that matter.

According to Fox 4, the animal, which is a rainforest-dwelling, South American cousin of the raccoon, bit through a responding deputy's puncture-proof gloves before it was subdued and taken to the Wise County Animal Shelter.

There, he promptly escaped from his cage and began terrorizing the cats that were being kept nearby.

And now for the best part: "He's been named Rat," Fox 4 reports, "which is short for Rat Bastard because the officers said he's a mean little guy."

That shouldn't be terribly surprising to students of the kinkajou's Wikipedia page. They are generally docile and quiet, and thus are sometimes kept as exotic pets.

However, they can occasionally be aggressive. Kinkajous dislike sudden movements, noise and being awake during the day. An agitated kinkajou may emit a scream and attack, usually clawing its victim and sometimes biting deeply. It has recently been discovered that pet kinkajous in the United States can be carriers of the roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis, which is capable of causing severe morbidity and even death in the owner, if infected.

Which makes it sound like the deputy might need a bit more than Neosporin. A message has been left with the Wise County Sheriff's Department, in case they feel like providing any additional details.

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Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

I can't stand it when people keep wild exotic animals as pets.  It's cruel and inhumane.


Someone finally located a real picture of Myrna


Somebody alert Colbert for his "Monkey on the Lam" segment!


<i>"There, he promptly escaped from his cage and began terrorizing the cats that were being kept nearby."</i>



@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Depends on whay you consider wild and exotic.  I have captive-bred bearded dragons - are you one of those people who think all reptiles are exotic and should not be pets?

My point is it can depend on your experience as to what can be a "pet".  But there is common ground.  I would consider anything wild-caught as cruel to keep as a pet.  Anything not socialized to humans at birth or that can't be socialized...


@blowmetone    perfect opportunity to make a case against illegals carrying roundworms but no you'd rather take a shot at Myrna


@TheCredibleHulk @marvin 1 in 100 people will get that joke.  This time I'm the one.  Thanks for this unnecessary reminder of one of my fave late-80s sitcoms.

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