The wold was enraptured by the exploits of a particularly brave little procyon lotor this week. What came to be known as the #mprraccoon, because she was climbing the UBS Plaza in downtown St. Paul (actually because Minneapolis Public Radio was the first to give the story major coverage), was a saga that unfolded from Monday through Wednesday this week. The raccoon in question jumped from a two-story building to the UBS Plaza and, afraid to go down, proceeded to climb up twenty stories to the roof over the course of a day. It looks like it made the move to the tower because it got scared away by some maintenance workers at the smaller building. The whole time, she received coverage, was trending on social media, and had a crowd of people on the street below cheering her on. Once she arrived at the roof, she was captured by waiting animal control officers who released her into the wild. This harrowing tale caught the attention of the whole country, as it received coverage on national news networks and even some cheeky references in international coverage.
Even Hollywood celebrities felt the need to comment on the situation (as they are wont to do) with James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, offering $1,000 to the charity of choice for whoever rescued the animal. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson also got in on the fun, posting a raccoon-enhanced version of the poster for his upcoming movie, Skyscraper (see the header image) on his Instagram account.
There was some drama this week at an office building in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. A raccoon, through a feat of nature which can only be described as a million-to-one shot, found itself stranded outside on a windowsill on the sixth (highest) floor. Office workers were distraught by the sight of the hapless creature, especially after a snowstorm left it covered and shivering. Frantically calling animal removal services–many of which refused to assist because the raccoon was up so high–they finally got a pest control company to come to its aid. During the night, with lifts, nets, spotlights, and a cage lowered by rope from the roof, they managed to get the raccoon down in a rather harrowing, albeit sloppy, manner. The rescued raccoon immediately scampered off to hide under a car in the parking lot. The rescuers coaxed it into a cage and brought it to a wildlife resource center where it will be briefly cared for before getting released back to nature. Or the city. I think no matter where you release it, it’ll find its way back into the city.
Knoxville, TN police were alerted to a break in a Boost Mobile store this week. When they arrived in the early morning, they were lucky to find the culprit was locked in the store. Despite having him (or her) caught in the act, no arrest was made, as the burglar was just a poopy little raccoon who had fallen in through the ceiling. After a few laughs, they waited for the store’s management to arrive and unlock the front door, at which point they managed to coax the animal out.
Early in 2017, footage of a liquor store break-in and vandalism case from late 2016 was released. This event occurred at Parkway Wine & Liquor in Bristol, TN. The perpetrators of this heinous act? Raccoons, of course! Over the course of the night, the raccoons ran amok in the store; climbing on shelves, knocking over bottles (causing about $250 in damage,) and loitering. Employees had to chase them out the next morning. Video from the event is below.
This is a good 230 miles Northwest of Raccoon Mountain in Tennessee. Raccoon Mountain has nothing do with this story, but if something happens in Tennessee involving a raccoon then it had to be brought up. It’s where all the raccoons in that state come from. Every seven years, the raccoons embark on a pilgrimage to that place. It’s a little known zoological phenomena.
For some reason, articles about the liquor store break in didn’t get written until late 2017. It’s unknown why the raccoons did this, but I suspect they’re a bunch of teetotalers who were seeking to enforce their anti-alcohol ways on the rest of the world.
Filming recently began on the Ohio-based Killer Raccoons 2: Dark Christmas in the Dark. Sadly, I missed out on the opportunity to contribute to their Indigogo campaign, which I totally would’ve done if I’d learned about this sooner. I’m kind of shocked I’d never heard of the first movie, the rather unfortunately names Coons!, which was distributed by the infamous Troma Pictures back in 2005. As the title implies, this sequel will be Christmas themed (in the vein of classics such as Die Hard and Lethal Weapon,) with a planned release in December 2018. The director, Travis Irvine (who also did the first movie,) has returned to film production after a decade-plus of politics. He uses real dead raccoons for filming. Not them fancy taxidermied kind, either, but frozen (and thawed, then re-frozen) animal cadavers obtained from pest control organizations. That’s got to leave the sets smelling rather gamey after a day of shooting!
Well, best of luck and I look forward to enjoying this little slice of hell next year. I know what I’ll be stuffing stockings with!