Trapped US raccoon's grate expectations

A raccoon getting stuck in a sewer grate in Newton, Massachusetts, last Thursday. Firefighters took two hours to rescue it.
A raccoon getting stuck in a sewer grate in Newton, Massachusetts, last Thursday. Firefighters took two hours to rescue it.PHOTO: WASHINGTON POST

WASHINGTON • It may lack the poise of Guardians Of The Galaxy superhero Rocket Raccoon, but this fur-tive little adventurer is becoming an Internet star in its own right after coming off worse in an encounter with a storm grate.

A photo of the mischievous mammal went viral after it was snapped by United States firefighters, with it managing to look simultaneously startled and cute as a button during a bungled escape from a sewer last Thursday.

"He had been stuck for a while but we are happy to report he is free!!!" the local fire department tweeted after freeing the trapped trash panda in Newton, Massachusetts.

Firefighters were dispatched when a passing cyclist saw the raccoon clinging desperately to the grille, head and tiny paws visible through the metal struts, local media reported. "We sent a fire truck and we tried to remove his head from the sewer grate with soap and water," said Newton Fire Lieutenant Michael Bianchi.

When that failed, the firefighters called in local government animal control experts, who sedated the raccoon, calming it enough to pull its head out of the grate.

"It was quite the operation," said Mr Bianchi. The whole rescue mission lasted two hours.

"We rescue citizens both big and small!!!" tweeted the Newton fire department.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 04, 2019, with the headline 'Trapped US raccoon's grate expectations'. Print Edition | Subscribe