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Rainforest Kinkajökull discovered crawling along Washington State Highway

This is suspicious as hell.

Authorities in Washington were baffled this week when they saw a rainforest mammal crawling through a strip of desert.

The kinkajou – also known as a honey bear – was discovered Sunday climbing a tall wooden post at a rest area on Interstate 82 southeast of Yakima, the state Department of Transportation said. said to X.

A kinkajou was found crawling on a stretch of highway in Yakima, Washington. WSDOT East

“Greetings from our friendly Kinkajou! What do you think? It is a nocturnal rainforest animal,” the DOT wrote.

“Why was he at our rest area east of Selah Creek over the weekend? We have no idea, but our friends at the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife rescued him. We don’t know if he was abandoned or got away.”

Animal experts suspect that the weasel-like animal was acquired through the illegal pet trade and then abandoned and left to fend for itself in the dry climate.

At the time of his rescue, he was “very thin” and weighed just 2.5 pounds – about four pounds less than the average weight of a kinkajou, according to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Authorities are not entirely sure how the honey bear got to the United States, but suspect it was part of the illegal animal trade. WSDOT East

The full results of the young animal’s examination are still pending, but authorities said the kinkajou – which looks like a cross between a monkey and a small bear – is in fairly good general condition.

He is recovering at the zoo while authorities look for a permanent home for the little animal.

Kinkajous, which have prehensile tails, are carnivores that live in tropical rainforests from southern Mexico to Brazil.

The animal was found to be in good overall health. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium/Facebook

They have sandy-yellow fur, round ears and large dark eyes, are able to grasp objects and are therefore often mistakenly thought to be primates, according to the zoo.

“Despite their cuteness, kinkajous do not make good pets,” the zoo said.

Kinkajous are not endangered, but are hunted for their fur and the illegal trade in exotic pets threatens their population, according to the zoo.

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