ST. PAUL, Minn. — He scaled a 25-story office building, eluded rescue in a series of perilous adventures and achieved social media stardom, all in two days.
Now the high-climbing raccoon is safe.
All it took was a pile of soft cat food to lure #MPRRaccoon — his social media-induced name — into a rooftop trap.
The tale began Tuesday morning when people started noticing the raccoon climbing the USB Plaza in downtown St. Paul. It’s an unusual scene in this urban center. But there he was. And he couldn’t seem to find his way back down.
People became worried.
The office building happens to be within sight of the offices of Minnesota Public Radio, and its erstwhile news team began documenting the creature’s predicament through radio broadcasts, the station’s Twitter feed and other social media.
National Public Radio picked up the story.
So did USB Plaza’s office workers, who chronicled the raccoon’s adventures, his naps, his ledge-hopping acrobatics and ability to elude capture, adding their own photos, videos and running commentary as the situation unfolded.
Eventually, the woodland creature opened his own Twitter account with one tweet, “I made a big mistake.”
Needless to say, his antics caused numerous work interruptions and much anxiety, as many worried he would lose his grip and plummet to his death.
Thankfully, a private animal removal firm put a stop to all that.
Employees of Wildlife Management Services baited several traps with cat food, and set them out on the building’s roof overnight.
#MPRRaccoon, who was more hungry for a meal than maybe for more attention, couldn’t resist.
The trap slapped shut.
“It’s definitely a healthy raccoon. It’s in good condition. It’s eating normally,” said Christina Valdivia, the company’s general manager told the Associated Press.
The wildlife trappers took #MPRRaccoon away, promising to release him to a new home somewhere around the nearby town of Shakopee, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
“In our office we are just glad he is safe,” attorney Sheila Donnelly-Coyne told the public radio station from her firm on the 23rd floor of the building. “We were all worried about him.”