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South American coati spotted in Breda tree evades capture

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Residents of Wolfslaardreef made a remarkable discovery on Tuesday evening. High in a tree, evening strollers spotted a strange animal. The Animal Ambulance identified it as a red coati, native to South America and not at all to the Netherlands. Keeping coatis as pets has been banned since 2016, Omroep Brabant reports.

Rutger Schouten’s daughter was the first to spot the critter. “We were taking an evening walk when we heard some crows making a fuss in the tree. So we looked up. My daughter saw something crazy,” he said to the broadcaster. They first thought it was a cat, but the snout gave it away. “What the hell is this, I thought. Then we called the Animal Ambulance.”

The Animal Ambulance couldn’t mean much for the animal on Tuesday evening, so they returned on Wednesday morning. They tried and failed to get the coati out of the tree. The fire brigade came to help, but it was to no avail. The critter remained in the tree.

Therefore, the Animal Ambulance decided to leave a cage with bananas near the tree, hoping the coati would get in when it got hungry. Employees of the Animal Ambulance and nearby petting zoo are taking turns to keep watch so they can quickly close the cage if the animal enters.

If they manage to catch the animal, the coati will go to the bird rehabilitation center in Zundert for examination and to figure out what to do next. The animal rescuers have no idea where the coati could have come from. “In the 21 years that I have been doing this work, I have never seen a red coati,” Ralph Smit of the animal shelter in Breda said to the broadcaster.

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