So­cial me­dia unites be­hind lit­tle rac­coon

An­i­mal on the side of high rise quickly gath­ers na­tional fol­low­ing

Yuma Sun - - OPINION -

If you want to unite the masses on­line, find an an­i­mal in need.

This week, the In­ter­net was cap­ti­vated by a rac­coon that climbed to the up­per lev­els of a high-rise in Min­nesota be­fore seem­ingly get­ting stuck.

Look­ing at photos of the an­i­mal scal­ing the build­ing, us­ing its claws to work its way up, it seems as though it had the power to con­tinue on its jour­ney when­ever it wanted. It was like watch­ing Spi­der-Man take to the build­ing.

But two days passed, the rac­coon was still hanging out on a win­dow ledge, and peo­ple were un­der­stand­ably wor­ried. One TV sta­tion even set up a live feed of the lit­tle guy.

Twit­ter users were im­me­di­ately en­gaged, with the hash­tag #mprrac­coon trend­ing through­out the day Tues­day.

A sam­pling of tweets in­cluded the fol­low­ing:

• Okay, I’ve heard of ninja squir­rels, but this is in­sane! #mprrac­coon

• I could be work­ing, but in­stead I am watch­ing a livestream of the #mprrac­coon. (In my de­fense I put rac­coon books on our “In the News” dis­play ear­lier.)

• It’s kinda heart­warm­ing to see Twit­ter rally around #mprrac­coon and it makes you re­al­ize how badly this coun­try NEEDS good news.

Min­nesota Public Ra­dio had a great view of the pro­ceed­ings, as its build­ing faced the rac­coon’s high­rise. Reporter Tim Nel­son was on #mprrac­coon beat, and kept fol­low­ers up­dated through the night with tweets on the rac­coon’s progress. It turns out, the story had a happy end­ing. The rac­coon made it to the top of the 25-story tower around 2:30 in the morn­ing, where live an­i­mal traps baited with soft cat food awaited.

Nel­son told NPR that the an­i­mal likely had been look­ing for food in a lower sky­way.

Now the rac­coon is in the hands of Wildlife Man­age­ment Ser­vices, who plan to re­lease it “some­where safe,” Nel­son notes, in an undis­closed lo­ca­tion.

Some­times, a lit­tle breather is needed from the more se­ri­ous news sto­ries. This week, Amer­ica found it in a lit­tle climb­ing rac­coon!

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