HomeOutdoorsViralFlight Instructor Saves Raccoon From Airport Runway, Gives It a Snack: VIDEO

Flight Instructor Saves Raccoon From Airport Runway, Gives It a Snack: VIDEO

by Caitlin Berard
Raccoon Similar to Individual Rescued From Airport
(Photo by nialat via Getty Images)

Stumbling upon a wayward raccoon on the snowy runway of the airport at which he works, a flight instructor knew there was only one thing to do. Gently scoop it up with a snow shovel and then share his snacks, of course. What else would you expect from Canada?

Flight instructor Will Birchall noticed the little animal during a route runway inspection at Burlington Executive Airport in Ontario, Canada. The area had just seen a large snowstorm, blanketing the runway in a thick layer of white.

Despite the frigid temperatures, the raccoon was unwilling to move an inch from the airport. According to Birchall, the critter was clearly freezing, but wouldn’t even budge, no matter how hard he tried to scare it away from the dangerous runway.

Giving the raccoon time to leave on his own, the flight instructor eventually left him in the snow, but the animal still wouldn’t move. “He looked so cold,” the concerned Canadian told Newsweek. “A few hours later, I noticed he was still there looking around.”

Seeing the raccoon a second time, Birchall simply couldn’t allow it to put itself in harm’s way any longer. With extreme care, he slowly approached the apprehensive animal with a snow shovel. He then scooped the raccoon up and carried it to safety.

“He was a bit anxious at first but once we got moving with him, he was really chilled, didn’t try to get off, just sat there and went with it,” Birchall explained.

Airport Employee Shares Snacks With Rogue Raccoon

With the raccoon safely aboard the shovel, the man carried it away from the airport, depositing the animal about 800 yards away near a patch of woods. Hilariously, the raccoon didn’t just seem calm, it appeared to settle in and enjoy the ride.

“He was pretty heavy and I had to take a few breaks during the journey,” Birchall said. “The whole time, he just sat on the shovel and waited for me to get going again.”

It’s unclear exactly how the raccoon ended up at the airport. Raccoons don’t actually hibernate, but they do spend most of the harsh winter months in the safety of their dens. Birchall guessed that this one got tossed around in the snowstorm and somehow found its way onto the runway.

Because they don’t go into full hibernation like bears, raccoons still need to eat throughout the winter months and will occasionally leave their dens to dumpster dive or seek out other sources of food. This raccoon did neither, though, as the airport worker treated the critter to a snack after saving it.

“I know that feeding wild animals is considered a no-no,” Birchall admitted. “But the little guy seemed cold and exhausted. All we had available was a couple of granola bars. It’s a bit of a running joke within the aviation community that flight instructors survive on granola bars, so it seemed fitting that they might give this poor little guy a chance.”

After enjoying its snack, the raccoon ventured into the woods, away from the airport. Later that night, however, he popped by one more time, got another snack, and then disappeared back into the trees.