You don’t have to venture out to the wilderness to have close encounters with animals. There’s wildlife roaming even the Big Apple, and yesterday some New York cops made a new furry friend.
On Friday morning, a raccoon got stuck on a ledge in Chelsea at 21 West 16th St. The poor little guy had shimmied up the building’s drain pipe and appeared to be too frightened to find a way down, the New York Post reports.
So the NYPD’s Emergency Response Service Unit arrived on the scene at about 1:30 p.m., and they carefully discussed the safest way to save the raccoon.
New York Police Save Raccoon as Onlookers Watch
“He looked tired,” building resident Eric Jeng said of the raccoon. “He kept hiding his head away from everyone.”
Jeng added that the raccoon was clearly having a bad day, and looked almost hungover, he was so out of it.
The Manhattanite was working from home when he noticed a crowd gathering beneath his building. Perplexed, he peered out the window until he saw the raccoon stranded on the windowsill one floor down.
Eventually, the NYPD settled on a solution: two officers went up in a bucket loader with a lasso. They corralled the raccoon and carried it down to safety as the onlookers applauded.
“Theoretically we could have grabbed my raccoon from my other window but they were afraid… that if he got himself out of the lasso with his hands he would fall,” Jeng said.” So the cops played it really safe and brought in a bridge truck and sent two guys up there and grabbed it pretty quickly one they had everything sorted out.”
“It was a happy ending to the story,” Jeng added.
Rabies Numbers Among NYC Raccoons Are Slowly Coming Down
Meanwhile, lots of rabid raccoons have turned up in New York’s Central Park this year. There is a colony of them under the stage in the middle of the park, ABC 7 reports.
The last raccoon attack on a human was in February. Thanks to the new trapping and vaccination effort, there are now 237 healthy, tagged and vaccinated raccoons in the park. But the development that motivated that effort – a sudden surge in rabid raccoons – is only abating slowly.
Typically, the animals have to be put down in order to test for rabies. But common signs of rabies in live raccoons include disorientation, making odd noises, and foaming at the mouth.
Based on the city’s testing of dead raccoons, the rabies numbers are declining from month to month in New York City.