Raccoon Got Stuck in a Sewer Grate, Put an Entire Rescue Squad to Work

Newton Fire Department/Newton Fire Department
Newton Fire Department/Newton Fire Department

I’ve never met a firefighter who began their training with the goal of one day rescuing nocturnal street creatures from sewer grates, but the brave firefighters of Newton, Massachusetts apparently put everything they’ve got into operations both big and small.

Ten a.m., Thursday morning. Rocky Racoon gazed cutely up at commuters from his temporary hell trap in the square hole of a sewer grate. A bicyclist bystander called for help and, not long after, the Newton Fire Department arrived in full garb. 
“They have the tools and expertise for freeing people from things,” Captain Eric Fricke said of his unit, per a report by The Washington Post.

Rescuers began by using their very firefighty tools (soap and water) and expertise (tugging). That didn’t work, so they ripped out the grate, placed it on a lawn, and started brainstorming. 

A floss technique was the agreed-upon next step; they basically tried to wrap floss around Rocky to condense him, hoping his slimmed-down bod could be pulled out more easily. But nope, the raccoon was just left soapy and sufficiently irritated.

The rescue went on for a few hours, so they brought in backup: Waltham Animal Control... and sedatives. 

Once the raccoon was sedated, it was much easier to get him out. Animal control said he’d be back to scrappin’ once the sedative wore off and he was deemed healthy. 

It's hard to believe that, at one point, there were at least eight people involved in this ordeal. But, hey, that’s not as bad as when nine people rescued a fat rat stuck in a manhole cover

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Ruby Anderson is a news writer for Thrillist.