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August 14, 2018

Raccoon conquers skyscraper; Americans breathe easier

Raccoon conquers skyscraper; Americans breathe easier
'An editor looks at a Twitter feed showing the raccoon that captivated audiences on social media as it scaled a 23-story building in the US state of Minnesota before finally being captured' - By: AFP Eva HAMBACH

America breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday after a scruffy brown raccoon was captured safe and sound following a perilous climb up a skyscraper in the northern state of Minnesota.

Thousands of Twitter users followed the escapades of the raccoon on Tuesday as it slowly inched up the side of the UBS Plaza building in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Minnesota Public Radio reporters and occupants of the building posted pictures and updates on the animal -- dubbed the #MPRraccoon -- as it scaled the rough surface of the skyscraper story-by-story in true Spider-Man style.

A local television station provided a livestream of the anxiety-producing journey of the animal, which apparently had been scared by construction workers at the building's base.

Hollywood director James Gunn offered to donate $1,000 to charity in the name of anyone who saved the raccoon.

"I can't handle this," Gunn, the director of the two "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies, tweeted. "Poor dude."

(The "Guardians" movies, incidentally, feature a brash, devil-may-care character known as Rocket Raccoon.)

- Trapped at the top -

The Minnesota raccoon paused at several points on narrow window ledges during its climb, even taking naps before continuing onward.

Well after midnight -- when most Americans had gone to sleep -- the raccoon reached the roof and was captured in a trap set up by wildlife control officials.

Building managers tweeted a picture of the raccoon in a cage Wednesday morning.

"After a delicious meal of soft cat food, #mprraccoon has been caught and will be picked up by Wildlife Management. Goodbye friend!" it said.

Wildlife Management Services later posted a video of the raccoon -- after some prompting -- leaving a cage and scampering off into the trees in the St. Paul suburbs.

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