A poor animal got itself trapped in a sticky situation recently, leaving his rescuers trying to figure out how to help.
One cool evening in late June a wild raccoon ended up trapped in wet cement. The cement began to harden, and the animal couldn’t escape—the more it struggled the further it sank.
The poor animal was barely hanging on for survival when she was found at the scene by construction workers. The raccoon was freed and brought to Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center for help—and it was like nothing they’d ever seen.
“This was a first,” the SWCC wrote in a Facebook post.
It was shocking to see this poor raccoon when she arrived at SWCC.
The rescuers were uncertain how to proceed. Their best chance to remove the cement was to soak the raccoon in vinegar water, but the animal was too cold and in poor health to do that yet.
Instead, they administered IV fluids and warmed the raccoon with a heated blanket—which also hardened the cement.
“We were really in a quandary,” SWCC director Linda Searles told The Dodo. “How do we get rock-hard concrete off a raccoon? If you’ve ever had concrete on your hands, you know it can be really tough on your skin.”
Sedated and ready for an exam. Her tail and hindquarters were covered in wet cement.
They began to shave the raccoon’s fur with electric razors, and even this proved difficult.
“With a mixture of wet and dry cement, the blades dulled quickly and needed to be changed again and again,” the SWCC wrote on Facebook.
However, they eventually made a breakthrough.
“More than an hour later, with no blades to spare, the cement was gone, along with the hair it was stuck to,” they wrote. “What was left was a hairless, dusty, white raccoon.”
Her feet and her whole body were cold to the touch when she arrived. The blue pillow-looking object is the Bair Hugger, a forced air warming blanket provided by a donor.
With the fur removed, the rescuers were able to proceed with the vinegar bath, and found it worked wonders: the raccoon’s skin went from grey to a healthier pink color.
A week later, the raccoon is still in the SWCC’s care, eating well and making a nice recovery.
“For now, she’s just resting and recovering from her ordeal,” Searles told The Dodo. “It must have been terrifying to be in a vat of liquid concrete all night.”
“After she puts some weight on and grows her hair back, the doctor will reevaluate her and decide if she’s a candidate for release.”
Our older lady raccoon rescue recovering after her ordeal.
But it’s easy to think how things could’ve gone differently. The raccoon was in a near-death situation and only survived thanks to the hard work of the animal rescue team. It’s a reminder of the hard work animal rescues do all the time—and how that work doesn’t always have an easy solution.
Say thanks to these animal rescuers, share this incredible story!