Buckinghamshire resident films rare 'South American coati' in back garden

There has only ever been a handful of sightings in the UK of the creature that originates from subtropical South America

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The Independent Online

We are all used to spotting the odd British grey squirrel scurrying up trees in our gardens; seldom do we expect to see animals from the rainforests of Brazil.

So imagine one Buckinghamshire family’s shock when they discovered the furry mammal climbing a tree in their garden was a “South American coati”. Anna Shearer from Marlow in Buckinghamshire, was out playing with her dogs when she spotted the mysterious creature up a tree.

Believing it to be one of her pets who had somehow got stuck, she moved in for a closer look only to realise that the creature was a lot more exotic.

Capturing the small mammal on video, Shearer contacted the RSPCA for advice.

Initially, the RSPCA believed the animal was a pet bear that had escaped an enclosure nearby.

However, on closer inspection of the footage, it was revealed that the animal was in fact a “South American coati”.

Attempts by the RSPCA to capture the coati have so far been unsuccessful, and experts are warning Buckinghamshire residents not to approach the animal as it may bite.

Usually found in the rainforests of subtropical South America, the latest coati comes after only a handful of sightings in the past decade.

In 2004, a handful of coatis were spotted in the woodland areas around the Lake District in Cumbria.

In 2010, a study by the University of Hull, estimated that there were about 10 coatis living wild in the UK.

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