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United States

Raccoon reaches the summit of Minnesota skyscraper after leading thousands on gripping climb

It had got stranded on a neighbouring building two days before likely while trying to raid pigeon nests

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 9:16pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 7:08am

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un captivated the world on Tuesday morning with a historic summit that seemed to lower the prospect of a devastating global war. Not long after, a Minnesota raccoon captured some of the attention and seemed to raise the prospect of a collective national heart attack.

The masked animal did so by scaling a St Paul, Minnesota, skyscraper, riveting and terrifying legions of humans who followed online. By late Tuesday morning, the critter was spotted a few storeys up on a window ledge, its brownish body just a smudge on the building’s concrete and mottled stone exterior.

By lunchtime, Minnesota Public Radio reporter Tim Nelson tweeted, the raccoon had climbed 12 storeys up the UBS Tower – and things were getting stressful.

It had got stranded on a neighbouring building two days before, Nelson said, “likely on an errant mission to raid pigeon nests on the skyway”.

And it apparently decided that the only way to go was up.

Soon the travels of the animal, dubbed #MPRraccoon, were being tracked nationwide. The local CBS affiliate began live-streaming the journey.

By mid-afternoon, the raccoon had ventured an additional 10 storeys up, its claws somehow digging in enough to continue. On a window ledge on the 22nd floor, it paused to rest.

Despite their reputation as woodland creatures, raccoons have made themselves quite at home in North America’s urban areas. But this fellow did not look terribly happy to be at these concrete heights.

Onlookers watched and took photos from the pavement far, far below.

By early Wednesday, the nail-biting ordeal came to an end with the animal reaching the roof, where St Paul Animal Control had placed cat food and a trap in hopes of enticing the animal to safety.

US media was reporting the animal had been safely picked up by animal control on the roof.