Minnesota raccoon sparks panic as it gets stuck on side of 25-storey skyscraper

A stranded raccoon sparked a frenzy on social media and gained a legion of fans as it scaled a 25-storey skyscraper and then took a break on a ledge.

The plucky animal captivated people around the world as updates were posted online and its anxious followers feared it would plunge to its death.

There were tense scenes as the raccoon clawed its way up the side of the office tower before perching itself in front of a worker’s window where it showed no signs of fear.

The drama sparked pleas for experts to intervene and rescue the critter, which had apparently been trying to raid pigeon nests.

Locals said the raccoon had been without food and water for two days as it was stranded on the UBS tower in downtown St Paul, Minnesota in the US.

The animal climbed up and down the pebbled concrete walls as it tried to find a way to safety, with the saga becoming the top trend on Twitter.

Worried onlookers gathered on the pavement below to watch the drama, while thousands followed the unfolding situation on Twitter, where workers posted photos and videos of the astonishing scene.


The incident also spawned joke Twitter accounts. One account, calling itself ‘The MPR Raccoon’, tweeted: "I made a big mistake."

A local TV station set up a live stream on Periscope, and it had more than 1,000 viewers at 2.30am local time on Wednesday.

The raccoon had initially been seen on a ledge on the neighbouring Town Square complex before it started climbing the UBS tower.

Minnesota Public Radio reporter Tim Nelson, who tweeted updates for hours, wrote: "This poor raccoon apparently got itself stranded on a ledge of the Town Square office building in downtown St. Paul, likely on an errant mission to raid pigeon nests on the skyway over 7th Street. It’s been there for two days now, without food or water."

Photos showed the raccoon clinging to the side of the building and slowly making its way towards the upper floors during its remarkable climb.

It took breaks on ledges, where it sprawled out, cleaned itself and napped.

Amid calls for the raccoon to be rescued, wildlife experts told Mr Nelson that the animal could leap, fall or attack them if they got too close to it.

They left aromatic food in traps on the roof in a bid to capture it.

The experts said it was likely that the raccoon would make its way to the roof or climb down on its own.

Laurie Brickley, a spokeswoman for St Paul’s animal control department, told the Star Tribune: “We don’t want to scare him. The best thing is to leave him alone.”

Onlookers were urged to move away from the tower and not disturb it so it could climb to safety on its own.

In the early hours of Wednesday, the raccoon finally climbed onto the roof, and experts were hoping it would wander into one of the traps.

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