Home Invasion…by a Kinkajou

About a week or so before Thanksgiving, our friends (and neighbors) Toni and Gib arrived home late in the afternoon.  Since they hadn’t ventured too far away, they had left the sliding doors that faced their swimming pool wide open.  They weren’t home but a few minutes when they realized that a strange creature was in their kitchen!   They had no idea what type of animal had invaded their home, but the little guy was very destructive.  He jumped onto the kitchen bar and began to wreak havoc!  He ran up and down the counters and climbed onto top of the cabinets pushing whatever was in his way onto the floor.  They tried to chase him away, but he just climbed higher up onto the cabinets.

IMG_0254 IMG_0267 IMG_0275Lets see what they have in here?? I smell honey!

Gib decided to throw an apple at him hoping that would chase him away, but he caught it with one paw and started to eat it.  Then Gib decided to spray some water at him thinking this might prompt him to leave the house.  The the little guy used the water to wash his face and paws.

IMG_0278 This apple will  do for now!

In between bouts of destruction, Toni would run into the kitchen to salvage her nicer dishes and glassware taking them into the bedroom.  While all this was going on, Toni’s son Deon who was visiting did a Google search and discovered their uninvited house guest was a kinkajou.  They had hoped that by learning a little bit about the kinkajou, they could figure out how to get him to leave the house.  Since it was well into the night, they decided the best course of action was to stay in their bedrooms, leave all the doors open and hope the kinkajou would leave on his own.

opps .....they were in my way!  I didn't mean to break anything!

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The next morning, Toni cautiously ventured into the kitchen to clean up the mess.  After looking around at the destruction, she thought it would be a good idea to have a cup of coffee first.  She opened the cabinet door where she kept the coffee cups and found the kinkajou sleeping soundly on top of the cups.  Toni screamed loudly!

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Gib and Deon came running into the kitchen.  The kinkajou didn’t like being woken up with such a loud noise.  He started jumping around and breaking more things.  Then, he became aggressive and attacked Gib.  The kinkajou scratched Gib’s shoulder and chest with its long claws.   Gib threw a can of beans at him, but hit the refrigerator instead.  The kinkajou took refuge inside the cabinet.

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They called the local wildlife reserve and asked for help…the person who answered the phone said, “We have no idea how to help you.  Good luck!”   It wasn’t long before Toni and Gib’s gardener arrived and with his help, they all managed to get the kinkajou outside.  They closed all the windows and doors and decided to keep them closed for the next few days.

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The next evening, the kinkajou returned.  Since all the windows and doors were shut, the kinkajou couldn’t get into the house, but he did try.  For an hour, the kinkajou peered in every window and door pushing on the glass and screens trying to find a way in.  Toni told us that it was really cute they way he looked in at them.  It was too bad that he was so destructive.  The kinkajou ended up eating all the fruit in the bowl on the outside table before he left.

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A couple of days later, they found the kinkajou sleeping in the garage.  Gib had inadvertently left the garage door open during the night and the kinkajou returned.   He had a feast on some of the food that Toni stored there including her extra stash of chocolate icing and cocoa.  Evidently, kinkajous like sweets even though they aren’t good for them.  Toni and Gib hoped the kinkajou didn’t get sick from all the sweets.   They were in a quandary about how they were going to prevent the kinkajou from continuing to return.  Thanksgiving was just a couple of days away and they surely didn’t want the uninvited guest to show up for dinner.  As it turned out, it was easier than they thought.

It was Deon’s idea to try and use a cat carrier to trap the kinkajou.   He put a banana inside the cat carrier and placed it near the kinkajou, which walked right into it without a fuss.  Deon and Gib placed the carrier in the car and drove him all the way down the hill.  The kinkajou ate the banana during the ride down.  They let the kinkajou out at the very bottom of our hill not too far from a wooded area.  So far, the kinkajou has not returned.

Here is some information about the kinkajou courtesy of Wikipedia:  An adult kinkajou weighs between 3–10 pounds. The adult body length is 16–24 inches; in addition to body length, the tail length is 16–24 inches. The kinkajou’s woolly fur consists of an outer coat of gold (or brownish-gray) overlapping a gray undercoat. It has large eyes and small ears. It also has short legs with five toes on each foot and sharp claws. Although the kinkajou is classified in the order Carnivora and has sharp teeth, its omnivorous diet consists mainly of fruit. Kinkajous particularly enjoy figs. Studies have shown that 90% of their diet consists of (primarily ripe) fruit. While they are usually solitary when foraging, they occasionally forage in small groups. A nocturnal animal, the kinkajou’s peak activity is usually between about 7:00 PM and midnight, and again an hour before dawn. During daylight hours, kinkajous sleep in tree hollows or in shaded tangles of leaves, avoiding direct sunlight.
Kinkajous are sometimes kept as exotic pets. They are playful, generally quiet, docile, and have little odor. 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. They live an average of about 23 years in captivity.

Yawning kinkajou in an animal preserve in Costa Rica

Yawning kinkajou in an animal preserve in Costa Rica

Fun Times with the Kids

On Sunday, February 1st, our son Erik, our daughter Jane and Jane’s boyfriend Mark were scheduled to arrive at the airport in San Jose early afternoon for a nine day visit.  We were so excited at the prospect of seeing them!  On average, it takes us about two and a half hours to drive to the airport from the beach, but we always allow at least three hours just in case.  About an hour or so before we were planning to leave for San Jose, I received an iMessage from Jane informing me that they were running late because Mark forgot his passport and that she wasn’t sure they would be able to catch their flight.  I really freaked out!  Eddie checked other flights and everything was booked.  Then, shortly after, I got another message and it was then we realized that they were playing a joke on us.  They were having a little fun during their layover in Charlotte.  For those of you who know me, I’m very gullible, however, Mark forgetting his passport was very believable…even Eddie fell for it for a few minutes!  Of course, I accused Mark of thinking this up because he loves to joke around, but as it turned out, it was Jane and Erik’s idea.  Fortunately, they confessed right away, so I didn’t get upset over it.

Mark texting us that they "might not make their flight" ha ha ha

Mark texting us that they “might not make their flight” ha ha ha

The drive from San Jose  back to the beach was much longer than we expected.  On most Sunday afternoons during school break, the Caldera toll road authority closes down the lanes heading toward the beach so all lanes are heading back to San Jose.  This is supposed to alleviate traffic congestion.  We had to drive back the old way, which is much longer.  We did find a great place to eat a late lunch in Orotina, though.  Despite the long drive, we managed to get back in time to watch some of the Super Bowl with our friends, Toni and Gib.

Super Bowl Sunday feast at Toni & Gib's

Super Bowl Sunday feast at Toni & Gib’s

Throughout the week, we enjoyed relaxing at the pool and the beach.  Mark and Eddie had fun surf fishing at the mouth of the river at the beach.  They didn’t catch anything worthwhile surf fishing, but they had a lot of fun trying.

Ahhh, a cold beer in the pool

Ahhh, a cold beer in the pool

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Mark practicing his throwing of the cast net.

Mark practicing his throwing of the cast net.

Surf fishing at Playa Linda

Surf fishing at Playa Linda

One morning, Jane, Erik, Mark and Eddie went out for some inshore fishing on a small boat with Captain George of Las Rocas Marea Alta.  They had some good luck catching some fish out on the ocean.  They brought back five good sized Mackerel and it was very tasty!  It was a nice lean white fish and Mark grilled it perfectly.  The Mackerel here is much different from Atlantic Mackerel, which is an oily fish.  Mark won the contest of first catch, the most and the biggest fish.

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Erik with one of the Mackerel he caught

Erik with one of the Mackerel he caught

Watch your fingers!

Watch your fingers! These Mackerel have some teeth.

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Another day, we went on a six hour ATV mountain tour with Diamante Verde Tours.  It was great fun!  Our guide was very knowledgeable about the trees and plants that we saw along the way.  So, we learned some new things while having fun.  We drove across some good sized creeks, climbed up a waterfall, and stopped to watch some paragliders take off over Dominicalito.  Mark, Eddie and Erik had a bit of fun drag racing, which was against the rules, but boys will be boys.

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Diamante waterfall is in the background

Diamante waterfall is in the background

Climbing up San Luis waterfall...gorgeous!

Climbing up San Luis waterfall…gorgeous!

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Watching the paragliders taking off

Watching the paragliders taking off

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Trying the local craft beer at Patrons in Dominical

Trying the local craft beer at Patrons in Dominical

Since we all didn’t want to do the same things at the same time, I was forced into driving the truck as that is the only vehicle we have here.  Despite Eddie’s encouragement that I would be fine driving in Costa Rica, I had only driven the truck three times in the course of one year.  I’m used to driving a Lexus sedan in the city not a big pick-up truck in the country and mountains, so I was nervous about driving it especially driving up and down our steep hill.  But that all changed quickly.  After fishing all morning on the boat, the gang wanted to hang out by the pool and I did a grocery run to the Maxi Pali in Quepos (30 minutes away) all on my own!  Then, one morning, Jane, Mark and Eddie wanted to do some surf fishing at Playa Linda and Erik and I wanted to go to Uvita.  Somehow, that did the trick and I’m more comfortable driving the truck.  Now, I want my own vehicle! IMG_2618

What Glows in the Dark?

A few weeks ago, Eddie found a scorpion in the laundry room resting high up on the wall near the ceiling.  When he told me, I ran to get my small black light to see if it would glow.  I read on one of the forums to which we belong that scorpions fluoresce when under a black light and I wanted to see for myself if that was true.  So off I ran to the laundry room (which is located at the end of the terrace) with my black light.  Sure enough, that sucker glowed and it was a beautiful florescent blue.

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Scorpion under normal light

Scorpion under black light

Scorpion under black light

I was having a lot of fun flashing my black light at him and Eddie was taking the pictures.  It was a bit difficult to get a really good photograph so we had to try several times.  Finally, Eddie mentioned to me that it might be a good idea to leave the scorpion alone as he might become annoyed and drop down on me.  Since I didn’t want to be stung, I agreed that we should leave him alone.  The next morning, I went into the laundry room to see if the scorpion was still there…and he wasn’t, well at least not in the same spot.  I did check around with my black light and didn’t see anything blue glowing in the recessed corners of the dimly lite laundry room.  So, I guess he did leave for good.

Wow!  Another amazing sunset from our neighbors' (Liz & Ray) house

Wow! Another amazing sunset from our neighbors’ (Liz & Ray) house