President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un captivated the world on Tuesday morning with a historic summit that seemed to lower the prospect of a devastating global war.
Not long after, a Minnesota raccoon captured some of the attention with a historic summit that seemed to raise the prospect of a collective national heart attack.
The masked animal did so by scaling a St. Paul, Minn., skyscraper, a la Spider-Man, in the process riveting — and terrifying — legions of humans who followed online.
Late Tuesday morning, the critter was spotted a few stories up on a window ledge of the UBS Plaza building, its brownish body just a smudge on the building’s concrete and mottled stone exterior.
By lunchtime, Minnesota Public Radio reporter Tim Nelson tweeted, the raccoon had climbed 12 stories up the UBS Tower — and things were getting stressful.
It had gotten stranded on a neighboring building two days before, Nelson said, “likely on an errant mission to raid pigeon nests on the skyway.”
And it apparently decided that the only way to go was up.
Soon the travels of the animal, dubbed #MPRraccoon, were being tracked nationwide.
The local CBS affiliate began live-streaming the journey.
By midafternoon, the raccoon had ventured an additional 10 stories up, its claws somehow digging in enough to continue. On a window ledge on the 22nd floor, it paused to rest.
Despite their reputation as woodland creatures, raccoons have made themselves quite at home in North America’s urban areas. But this fellow did not look terribly happy to be at these concrete heights.
Onlookers watched and took photos from the sidewalk far, far below.
The building’s windows don’t open, so assistance would not be easy. Window washers rescuing it were not an option either.
The raccoon, animal-control authorities said, would be trapped and aided upon reaching the roof.
But first it had to make it that far.
In the early evening, the raccoon set up shop on the 23rd floor. By then, Twitter users were brainstorming ways to rescue it; a man was attempting to fly a drone toward it; and the Star-Tribune had written an explainer detailing how raccoon claws allow the animals to scale buildings.
St. Paul’s mayor weighed in.
As darkness approached and the raccoon was expected to get hungry, local news stations promised full reports on their nightly broadcast.
At least four Twitter users had begun tweeting as the raccoon, with one account quickly amassing more than 2,500 followers.
Then, in the wee hours, came the news the raccoon-watching world was desperate to hear: “The
#mprraccoon just made it to the roof!” Nelson tweeted.
After a brief media blackout (okay, a brief period in which there was nothing to see/say), a new Twitter account, apparently belonging to the office building itself, shared an update about Minnesota’s most famous skyscraper-scaling raccoon:
It had eaten a post-climb meal, and it was now in custody.
In the mid-morning on Wednesday, Nelson tweeted, the caged raccoon was being ferried away to an “undisclosed location” where, we must presume, its life will be a little less eventful.