Caught in a fence – how to get down? When Patrick Abdo saw that little raccoon stuck in his not-at-home-at-the-time neighbor’s fence, he decided action was in order. Photos too. Six more images, and Patrick’s first-person story, explain what happened next – after the jump:
This happened last Wednesday, and Patrick happened to be telecommuting that day.
My wife and I awoke to a squawking noise around 6 am. It sounded similar to a blue jay. So we thought nothing of it. But 40 minutes later, the squawking continued. I thought maybe it was mating season for blue jays. I went downstairs to log into work and my wife headed off to her job.
I came upstairs around 9:30 am and the same animal noise continued but then I realized it was a distress call.
I headed to north side of our property (37th, between Graham and Morgan). Between the bushes and trees I finally saw two little animal paws wedged between the fence slats. I peered over and there was a baby raccoon (four or five pounds) hanging upside-down.
He was doing his impression of a opossum. Since I was wearing gloves and a jacket I attempted to lift him to free his legs. He was having none of that. Plus I think his little legs and feet were a bit swollen.
I grabbed a broom, leaned over the fence and held it near him so he could try to pull himself up. Amazingly he understood what I was trying to do. But he was exhausted and just hung on to rest.
So then I went into MacGyver Mode.
I grabbed a small wooden table and my trusty Black & Decker cordless drill. I headed over to the neighbors’ side (they were on vacation). I used one of their wooden patio chairs and another small table. I stacked the two small tables on top of the chair against the fence. The little guy was grateful for the leaning tower of patio furniture. As he rested, he eventually moved to the left enough so I could quickly loosen the top two screws of the board. I pulled it back and he freed his legs.
Halfway through the rescue operation his mother came within 10 feet of me to supervise.
She chattered a little and then climbed the fence for a closer look.
Then once his legs were freed she encouraged him to climb over into my yard.
It took him about three minutes to pull himself over because he was wiped out. While they were on the ground on my property the mother peered at me through the fence as if to say “thank you.” It was quite the moment. Then she climbed over a three-foot wide section of fence (perpendicular to my house and the main fence). I had to run around the house and remove a small board to allow the little guy to slip through and follow his mom.
It was hilarious watching him waddle after her. She made a clucking noise as if scolding him to keep up and stay close.
(Thanks to Dave B for the tip about Patrick’s amazing pix!)