A scruffy raccoon (no, not Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy) captured the heart and soul of Twitter today, as it alternately climbed, napped, and groomed its way up the side of the USB building in Saint Paul Minnesota. At one point, a live feed was provided to monitor the coon’s progress. As of the time of this Night Owl publication, the saga that gripped Saint Paul is yet unresolved. Night has fallen and the world will sleep uneasily with the fate of #mprraccoon unknown until morning.
The critter had, at last report, climbed its way up to the 23rd floor over the course of the day – literally scaling the side of the building in between naps. Firefighters have placed a live trap baited with cat food on the roof, trying to lure the creature to safety. Officials, for some inexplicable reason, appear reluctant to endanger the city’s First Responders by having them repel down the side of the building and attempt to sweet talk a wild, beloved though it may be, animal into their arms to be whisked to safety. Indeed, the dozens of other suggestions on how to rescue the trash panda have also come to naught – the windows on the building do not open and any attempt to rescue the animal would, experts say, lead to injury or death. (No one wants the story to end like the raccoon story in Toronto a couple years ago. If you are unfamiliar with it, it could be worthy of a Night Owl of its own, but you can read up on it here.)
As night deepens, the citizens of Saint Paul, and indeed the world, are going to have to hope that “Spidercoon”, as some have dubbed him, can figure out how to make it safely to the roof where the city will then attempt to relocate him.
Although the Washington Post published an article about the stranded coon today, for our purposes at The News Blender, this is a story best told via Tweets, written by the people who are invested in this story in ways journalists could never be.
#mprraccoon: The Story in Tweets
The Saint Paul Mayor weighed in this evening, to offer assurance that officials are working the problem and to give the city a plug.
Even wild animals know @cityofsaintpaul is a great place to reach for higher heights. We’re working with staff & building owner to find a way to help #MPRraccoon without further endangering it or staff by scaring or making it feel threatened.
— Mayor Melvin Carter (@MayorCarter_) June 12, 2018
As twilight approached, the raccoon remained perched on a ledge.
Looks like the #mprraccoon is settling in for the night. I'll be on duty and will be updating during the night and in the morning, although it may be hard to tell in the dark. pic.twitter.com/zvrXOhJHXs
— Tim Nelson (@timnelson_mpr) June 13, 2018
Spidercoon has united the people of Saint Paul as they join together in cheering on a climb that, for many, has taken on an almost symbolic image of a larger struggle to survive. Or of PokemonGo.
#spidercoon watch is reminding me of the early days of #PokemonGo, when everyone was so nice and helpful. People with binoculars are passing them around so all can see. #mprraccoon pic.twitter.com/UIxCMuCnO8
— Mary W. (@Mski21) June 13, 2018
From earlier today, a close up video of #mprraccoon…
— Tim Nelson (@timnelson_mpr) June 12, 2018
It is clear, from these pictures, exactly why #mprraccoon has captured the hearts of the world.
He is on the ledge on our floor. He seems to be doing well. We’ve been told that the building has live traps on the roof and are trying to get him to go up there. We all just have to keep our fingers crossed.. #mprraccoon pic.twitter.com/HY1PkuFKz0
— Paige Donnelly law (@donnelly_law) June 12, 2018
A city waits with baited breath…
For those of you worried about #mprraccoon: Animal control folks have put live trap on tower roof with aromatic food, hope raccoon smells it and can make its way to the roof, be captured and safely brought down to the ground. Not much else to do but wait and hope.
— Tim Nelson (@timnelson_mpr) June 12, 2018
Twitter offered “helpful” suggestions on how to save the brave raccoon.
– Window washing equipment
– St Paul Fire Department
– That guy in Paris that saved the baby on the balcony
– Hot Air Balloon
Ways to save the #MPRraccoon
— Martha (@MarthaYoung) June 12, 2018
#mprraccoon helped people refine their priorities on a day when their attention might have been elsewhere otherwise.
Rest of the world: "how about that #SingaporeSummit huh?"
Twin Cities: "NO TIME FOR THAT. There is a RACCOON climbing a BUILDING."#mprraccoon
— KT Lindemann (@KTLimeTree) June 12, 2018
Its news people. Vital news.
— Brian Lauritzen ?? (@BrianKUSC) June 12, 2018
Perhaps #mprraccoon is not 9-11, the Apollo 13 mission, or even, as one tweet suggested, this generation’s Baby Jessica but watching him is stressful, nonetheless.
I’m going to need one of you to tell me when it’s safe to look at Twitter again.
— Jennifer Brooks (@stribrooks) June 12, 2018
Of course, Twitter can turn anything into politics these days…
Just watched a sad, lonely animal ascend to a peak it was never meant to reach. Now, clear to everyone, the creature is fated to die at the summit, abandoned by its peers. Also, the #mprraccoon is happening today. #SingaporeSummit
— Brian Fanelli (@dat_briguy) June 12, 2018
The memes, oh, the memes…
— HelenTheShark (@HelenTheShark) June 13, 2018
To close with a serious note on a less-than-serious story, it is moments like these that have a way of uniting people around hope for a creature that has come somehow to represent the struggle we all face. When people care about a life, even a raccoon, that is not a bad thing.
It's more than just a raccoon. #mprraccoon is an example of our humanity that we all set aside grievances over politics, religion, sports, etc… We come together in hope for an innocent life. It's the depth of America's character that can focus on optimism together.
— Merrill_Says (@iHeartMerrill) June 13, 2018
The News Blender offers its best wishes to the trash panda who, hopefully, is safely sleeping on a window ledge in Saint Paul tonight. (TNB is aware that raccoons are nocturnal but, shhhh… we won’t tell Twitter as it would be too distressing.)
Sleep well, Spidercoon and find your way to safety.