Raccoon that captivated internet is rescued safely in St. Paul

The creature showed all the prowess and charm of an action-movie hero in a trek to the top of a 20-plus story building.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, and generational studies Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper

The furry, little raccoon that mesmerized the internet with a Mission: Impossible-style stunt is safe and sound as of early Wednesday morning.

The raccoon started to climb the 20-plus story UBS Tower in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, on Tuesday, pulling a regular Tom Cruise with nearly vertical climbing abilities. Workers in the office building, whose windows are sealed shut, worried as the critter scuttled past their offices and rested on window ledges. They couldn't help, but they could share photos online.

And raccoons may be nuisances but, gosh, they're cute.

The headquarters for Minnesota Public Radio is just across the street, and workers there hashtagged the creature #MPRraccoon, which became Twitter's No. 1 hashtag on Tuesday. Even people far away from the unfolding drama, such as Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, worried. Would the raccoon slip? Stumble? Give up and starve? Be swooped up by a nearby nesting falcon?

On Wednesday morning, everyone watching the drama could breathe again. The raccoon was safely lured into a cat food-baited trap and taken off the building. It will be released "somewhere safe," wildlife management employees said.

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