Raccoon stuck headfirst after munching on roof caught in bizarre photo
A wildlife expert in Santa Cruz, Calif., told a resident how to remove a raccoon that managed to get stuck headfirst after gnawing on a roof.
The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter shared a post on Facebook and said Wildlife Emergency Services received the call on Monday.
A photo accompanied the post and showed half of the raccoon’s body protruding from the roof of a house in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
“Knowing that time was critical, [Wildlife Emergency Services] instructed the citizen on how to push the raccoon through the hole so it does not choke,” the agency’s message read.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, a raccoon most often builds a den in the chimney or attic of a house, although it can take up residence anywhere in the structure.
If a homeowner discovers they have a raccoon living in their ceiling or wall, they are encouraged to knock first where they hear the noise.
“When raccoons are heard in such hard-to-reach places, a professional should be hired to search for the young,” the Human Society said. “If there isn’t a young addict, you can use mild harassment to entice an adult animal to leave.”
Raccoons can also get trapped in ducts or crawl spaces, which can cause a few problems.
“Problems that can arise include raccoon waste buildup in latrines and structural damage such as when insulation is knocked down,” the agency’s article said.
In some cases, professionals may need to intervene to move raccoons living in a home, especially if there are young raccoons involved.
The raccoon that got stuck in the roof was a mother herself, but she was saved in time.
Rebecca Dmytryk, founder and CEO of Wildlife Emergency Services, said Newsweek it is not common for raccoons to try to dig or gnaw on roofs.
Because this raccoon is nursing, Dmytryk said she was “desperate” to find her babies who were stuck inside.
She explained that the landlord had recently completed repairs and that an attic vent containing the baby raccoons had been closed when the mother raccoon was away from them.
“She’s the one trying to find her babies,” Dmytryk said.
She told the owner it was imperative to act quickly to remove the raccoon before it died from overwork trying to reach the babies or from heat stress.
The homeowner removed the vents and, with the help of a few nearby construction workers, opened up the hole.
“Within 30 minutes of my conversation with her, she had opened the hole and the raccoon had fallen out,” Dmytryk said.
For the next few days they will allow the raccoon to rest before working together on how to encourage the family to continue using repellents.
“This is a warning to all homeowners and pest control companies, contractors and DIY enthusiasts,” she said. “Don’t plug holes on the outside of the house without taking precautions, making sure there’s nothing inside.”
Dmytryk suggested using tissue paper or newspaper to lightly block a hole on the outside of the house. If disturbed, she says, chances are a nocturnal animal is inhabiting the house.
Although it seems like an unusual story, Dmytryk said the animals will try to find a place to live with their babies, especially if there is a reliable food source.
To combat the problem, Dmytryk said it’s important to go to the source, which is a reliable food source and shelter for the animal.
She said additional resources can be found at humanewildlifecontrol.org for owners nationwide.
There have been other encounters with raccoons that have been shared on the internet.
A Georgia Fire Department shared a photo on Facebook showing an “embarrassed” raccoon after being pulled from a resident’s home.
The owner heard something behind the refrigerator and firefighters discovered the raccoon was watching them.
A woman needed medical attention after she was attacked by a raccoon while setting up Christmas lights outside her home in Lancaster, Massachusetts.
Taking to Facebook, the woman shared photos of the cuts and bruises left on her arms. She noted that she managed to put the raccoon in a headache as he continued to bite her.
A man recently grabbed a raccoon with his bare hands during a baseball game and took him outside the stadium.
Because he was bitten, he had to receive rabies shots.