Rare, illegal animal found clinging to front door

Rare, illegal animal found clinging to front door

(As originally published with a gallery of photos, Sat, January 7th 2023, 3:43 PM EST)

SAN ANTONIO (TND) — A very unusual sight led to a chase for San Antonio’s Animal Care Services.

On Friday, someone came face to face with an unfamiliar creature that didn’t seem happy.

They called ACS and a crew arrived to find a scared coati hanging onto the front door frame of their home. The species is in the same family as raccoons.

Coatis are wild and usually found in Central and South America.

In the U.S., they’re mainly found in the southeastern and southwestern corners of Arizona and New Mexico, and in parts of Texas — but they’re non-native and prohibited in Texas. Owning one can lead to a fine of up to $2,000.

Rare, illegal animal found clinging to front door
Coati caught after chase from front door, Jan. 6, 2023. (San Antonio’s Animal Care Services)

Also, coatis are connected to illegal exotic animal trade and ACS officials quickly learned a neighbor had bought this one.

With authorities on the prowl, the coati retreated to a nearby backyard.

Then, according to ACS, “This nimble creature gave the officers a good workout in trying to capture her, but with teamwork — and a short sprint — they managed to safely contain her.”

ACS brought her to one of the three Texas animal organizations that can legally care for coatis and asked everyone, “Please, let wild animals stay wild.”

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