The internet has gone wild over the story of a brave raccoon who scaled a 25-story building after getting stuck on a ledge.
The raccoon was dubbed the #MPRRaccoon by Twitter. She appeared to defy the laws of physics as she climbed the face of the UBS building in St. Paul, Minnesota, which houses the offices of Minnesota Public Radio.
MPR journalist Tim Nelson chronicled the audacious climb of the little raccoon as it strove to win free of its constraints. Adoring fans quickly caught wind of the raccoon’s plight, and watched her ascent with anxious eyes.
The story of the raccoon’s ordeal began on Tuesday morning, when Tim Nelson tweeted a photo of the little bandit trapped on a skyway. It is believed that the raccoon originally climbed there in an attempt to steal eggs from a pigeon’s nest. Raccoons are excellent climbers and opportunistic hunters. As a species, they have adapted better to city life than most.
But this particular raccoon was desperate. For one thing, it was small. Likely a juvenile only recently released from its mother’s care, the raccoon was scrawny. Wildlife experts believed that, based on its size and weight, the animal was female. But they were unable to confirm that theory.
In any case, the raccoon found itself in the quite the pickle on Tuesday morning. Experts believe that by the the time it found itself trapped on a ledge of the Town Square office building in downtown St. Paul, the raccoon had already gone without food or water for at least two days.
Dehydrated and hungry, the little bandit was forced to take stock of its surroundings. Faced with sheer walls all around, and a long, perilous drop below, the raccoon didn’t have a lot of options. After it finished assessing its situation, the raccoon chose to heed Winston Churchill’s famous advice: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
So it kept going.
Throughout Tuesday morning, the furry free-climber scooted her way up the face of the UBS building. Eventually, she reached the 20th floor, where she took a well-deserved nap. Pictures of the raccoon stretched out along a ledge , its face and body pressed tightly against a window, reveal a visibly distressed, glassy-eyes creature.
No doubt this was the hardest moment of the climb. 200 feet of sheer vertical ascent must have left the already dehydrated raccoon even more exhausted than when she began her fateful climb.
The raccoon eventually regained the strength to carry on to the 23rd floor, where it spent some time stretching and grooming itself in front of the waiting cameras. Then, briefly, it seemed that the raccoon had grown confused, or given up hope. It began to descend again, scrambling back down towards the ground, endangering itself further and wasting much of the progress it had made.
Anguished viewers wondered why the raccoon couldn’t be rescued from within the building. But the UBS building’s windows were incapable of opening, and at this point the raccoon had climbed too high for an effective rescue attempt to be made.
So the world watched with baited breath as the MPRRacoon struggled with a wave of self doubt. In an effort to draw it further up the building to safety, live traps were set on the roof of the building and filled with delicious food, in the hopes that the smell would attract the hungry raccoon and fill it with renewed determination.
That strategy apparently worked, because by Wednesday morning the raccoon had resumed its upward progress, and finally reached the roof of the building, a height of 305 feet.
There, it wandered into a trap and finally obtained the cat food that had been placed out for it. Wildlife rescue personnel then transported the raccoon to “private residential property”, where it was safely released.
The saga of the skyscraper-climbing raccoon at last came to a happy ending. Surely the perseverance – indeed one might even call it bravery – of this little beast should be an inspiration to us all.
When you’re worn out, exhausted, hungry, dehydrated, and stuck on the ledge of life, the best and only option is to keep on climbing.