Kinkajous: State commission rejects petition to legalize them as pets
As an example of such "unrecognizable pathogens," she pointed to a 2003 outbreak of monkeypox among pet prairie dogs -- a disease, she wrote, that the prairie dogs picked up from African rats. (Yikes!)
"Prairie dogs are highly susceptible to monkeypox infection and are capable of transmitting this virus to their owners," she added. "Seventy-one human monkeypox cases were identified in this multistate outbreak."
Also mentioned at the commission meeting, Hampton says, was the fact that heiress Paris Hilton was bitten by her pet kinkajou, Baby Luv, in 2006.
Hilton went to the emergency room, where she received a tetanus shot, according to press accounts. But the bite wasn't bad enough to keep her from doing two photo shoots the following day.
The media has reported other kinkajou bites, as well. In 2011, a sixteen-year-old in Tennessee spent six days in the hospital battling a bacteria she likely contracted when her aunt's kinkajou bit her, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Look below to read Dryer's petition, as well as the letters submitted by the state agencies opposing kinkajou legalization.
More from our Follow That Story archive: "Video: The Daily Show rips Brosurance...and Hosurance."