Police rescue raccoon stuck tight in drain using grease and a gentle touch

Hapless youngster freed in painstaking two-and-a-half hour operation

Rob Crilly
New York
Thursday 18 August 2016 03:30
A raccoon well and truly stuck in a drain in Northampton, Massachussets
A raccoon well and truly stuck in a drain in Northampton, Massachussets

At first glance it might be a child's discarded cuddly toy.

But look closer at the image and the pleading face is actually that of a real, live raccoon, stuck tight in a drain.

This was the sight that greeted Shayla Howe, animal control officer with Northampton Police in Massachussetts, when she was called to the local Veterans Affairs Medical Centre.

Someone had spotted the luckless animal and realised it wouldn't survive long without specialist help.

It was still young and small enough to get its head through the drain's grate – but not out again.

Officer Ryan Tellier, of the Northampton Police Department, said the rescue was a slow, careful operation, that involved lifting the grate from the drain with the help of staff from the hospital.

“After almost 2.5 hours of trying to rescue the animal she was able to free it with the help of some cooking grease,” he said, adding that the animal was reunited with his mother and appeared none the worse for his adventure.

Raccoons are native to North America, where they are a frequent pest, rummaging through bins and ransacking kitchens if windows are left open.

They are nocturnal and generally hide away during the day.

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