Raccoons are evasive creatures that scavenge for food during the nighttime hours when their human overlords are fast asleep. You don’t need to have much experience with raccoons to know that they do not like being caught red-handed while scavenging through residential garbage collections. If one or more raccoons is discovered by a human while scavenging, they will resort to just about any measure in order to escape capture. This is especially true during the day when most raccoons are sure to remain hidden from humans within certain nooks of highly populated urban environments. However, every once in a while, one or more raccoons will courageously make themselves noticed within urban centers during the daytime hours. For example, last June, a raccoon was spotted on the second story of a tall skyscraper in St. Paul, Minnesota. After the seemingly stranded raccoon gathered an audience of concerned humans in the street below, it proceeded to scale the skyscraper. Hours later, this daring raccoon impressed its growing audience by reaching the 25th story of the prominent UBS building.
Many people may not realize that raccoons are skilled climbers. Nature has endowed raccoons with sharp claws that are essential for rapidly scurrying up trees in order to escape from predators. Raccoons are also able to rotate their hind feet, allowing them to quickly descend down the trunks of trees head first. Raccoons are quite abundant in the upper-midwest, as the The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources estimates that as many as one million raccoons dwell within the state’s borders. Although they are relatively abundant in Minnesota, it is not often that residents spot a raccoon scaling the side of a building Spiderman-style.
Within a matter of a few minutes, the raccoon climbed from the second to the seventh story of the UBS building. Ten minutes later the raccoon reached the 12th floor, which is a whopping 100 feet from the ground. According to Russell L. Burke, a biology professor at Hofstra University, it is normal for raccoons to climb to heights of 20 to 30 feet, but it is virtually unheard of for a raccoon to climb hundreds of feet from the ground along a skyscraper.
By the time the raccoon reached the top story, a large crowd of people had gathered in the street below the UBS building in order to enthusiastically support the raccoon’s journey up the building. The daring raccoon had also become a Twitter sensation before it reached the final floor. In an effort to bring the raccoon down safely, animal control professionals placed a caged cat on the building’s roof in order to bait and trap the raccoon daredevil. Animal control professionals claimed that the raccoon was noticeably skinny and very tired by the time it reached the building’s roof. Once the raccoon’s health stabilized, officials released the animal onto a residential property within the Twin Cities.
Have you ever spotted a raccoon climbing a building?