Florida girl bitten by kinkajou at petting zoo birthday party while trying to feed it lettuce, FWC says

A birthday party at a Florida petting zoo took a wild turn after a girl was bitten by a kinkajou while trying to feed it a piece of lettuce, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

The incident happened Oct. 29 at a birthday party held at Julio's Zoo 2 U, a local petting zoo in Miami, according to an incident report obtained by FOX 35 News. The facility, which has a petting farm on-site in accordance with valid FWC permits, regularly hosts birthday parties. 

Two days after the party, FWC officers spoke to the girl's father, who said his daughter was bitten by a kinkajou at the petting zoo. 

A kinkajou is a mammal commonly found in tropical rainforests. They're a part of the family Procyonidae, which includes raccoons, according to the San Diego Zoo


ESKISEHIR, TURKEY - JANUARY 04 : A baby kinkajou is seen at Eskisehir Zoo in Eskisehir, Turkey on January 04, 2018. (Photo by Ali Atmaca/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

During the birthday party, Julio Delgado, the owner of Julio's Zoo 2 U, gave children lettuce to feed the goats and other farm animals on the property. 

The girl, however, walked over to an enclosure where the kinkajou was and put her fingers by the mesh wire in an attempt to feed the kinkajou inside, according to the report. 

The kinkajou took a bite of the lettuce, and punctured the girl's right index finger in the process. 

According to photos of the injury provided by FWC, a small round wound is seen on the girl's finger. A photo of the bite is attached below – swipe to the second photo if you wish to see an un-blurred photo of the injury. 

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Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

At the time, Delgado told the girl and her family that they "had nothing to worry about" after they asked if the kinkajou was vaccinated, the report said. 

The girl was taken to an urgent care facility after the party, where she was recommended to receive a series of rabies shots. She got her first of four shots on Oct. 30. Updates about the girl's injury were not made immediately available. 

RELATED: 9-foot alligator bit Florida woman's face while she was snorkeling: 'I saw her head in its mouth,' friend says 


Photo of Kinkajou peering through fence. The Nature of Wildworks with director Mollie Hogan who cares for mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, birds, raccoons and many other animals in Topanga, March 8, 2005. (Photo by Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times via G

As far as the petting zoo goes, officers spoke with Delgado about the kinkajou and its enclosure. 

He was able to provide a screenshot of the purchase receipt for a female kinkajou in February 2023, that was born two months prior, according to the incident report. He said he raised the kinkajou and bottle fed it, as it was his "mother's pet."


Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Officers said that while Delgado had proper signage discouraging guests from feeding the wildlife, they were not on the enclosure that the kinkajou was in. There are also no safety barriers in place to keep the public from the enclosures, a violation of FWC statutes, according to the incident report. He said he would add a barrier moving forward. 

MORE FROM THE FWC: Florida man busted with 5 alligators in his bathtub that he caught at nearby pond


Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

FWC officers also said the enclosure the kinkajou was in was not properly sized. Delgado said he only keeps the animal there temporarily and the one where it lives permanently meets the size requirements, according to the report. 

Delgado was issued a citation for cage requirements, plus five warnings related to maintaining captive wildlife which results in an injury to a person, failure to maintain an accurate record of acquisitions of wildlife and standard caging requirements.