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.
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.
I don't know if I can watch this much longer. The #mprraccoon is scaling the UBS Tower. Now 12 stories up. pic.twitter.com/MaP35MLo9j— Tim Nelson (@timnelson_mpr) June 12, 2018
My picture from the 13th floor around noon. Hope he makes it down OK! #mprraccoon pic.twitter.com/gfVWysn9iO— Ben (@Johnson88Ben) June 12, 2018
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.
The #mprraccoon has arisen from his nap and is climbing again. pic.twitter.com/K1popKu2bF— Tim Nelson (@timnelson_mpr) June 12, 2018
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.
He is on the ledge on our floor. He seems to be doing well. We’ve been told that the building has live traps on the roof and are trying to get him to go up there. We all just have to keep our fingers crossed.. #mprraccoon pic.twitter.com/HY1PkuFKz0— Paige Donnelly law (@donnelly_law) June 12, 2018
Most recent picturesI left about 25 minutes ago the poor little guy was still there.People have asked and no the windows do not open.We all have to keep our fingers crossed and pray that the little guy makes it the rest of the way to safety food and water. pic.twitter.com/iTmg4ZMXzW— Paige Donnelly law (@donnelly_law) June 13, 2018
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.
Here it is, #MPRRaccoon’s valiant climb to the top of the UBS Center in Downtown St. Paul, this morning. @KARE11 @MPRnews pic.twitter.com/ot1DPNeRF5— Dave Peterlinz (@DPet_KARE11News) June 13, 2018
I'm not crying- you're crying. https://t.co/iDHG1KQe6Y— TO THE SUN! (@unfetteredsol) June 13, 2018
Quite a start to the half hour on CNN: “Why #MPRraccoon is the top trending topic on twitter ... but first to the #TrumpKimSummit.”— Kryssy Pease (@kryssypease) June 13, 2018
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.
The building has told us little guy did go to the live traps and is safely in a cage. Hopefully the little guy will be relaxing in some grass and trees later this morning after his adventure in the city.— Paige Donnelly law (@donnelly_law) June 13, 2018
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.
Here is the #mprraccoon being picked up by technicians from Wildlife Management Services just now. Taken away by truck to an "undisclosed location." pic.twitter.com/x0iMZhW7zd— Tim Nelson (@timnelson_mpr) June 13, 2018