11 Times Animals Got Stuck in Things in 2019
From raccoons in sewer grates to hedgehogs in cups, this was a sticky year for some unlucky animals.
The domains of humans and wildlife frequently overlap; unfortunately, that often doesn’t work out so well for wildlife. Objects and infrastructure made for people can be hazardous to animals, and curious or unwary creatures — wild and domesticated alike — sometimes find themselves in predicaments that they can’t escape without help. Here are 11 times that animals got stuck in things in 2019.
City rats are known for traveling through underground sewers and pipes, but one rat in Germany was a little too rotund to squeeze through a hole in a manhole cover, and had to be pried out by a team of helpful humans. Animal rescue workers in Bensheim were alerted about the stuck female rat, which became trapped halfway through the hole on Feb. 24. “She had a lot of winter flab,” one of the rescuers said. To release the rat, the rescuers teamed up with members of the local fire brigade. They secured the front end of the rat with a loop at the end of a pole and then lifted the manhole cover, gently pushing on the rat’s posterior until it popped through. She was then released into the sewer unharmed.
Taking a dip
On Nov. 11, a Staten Island family found an unexpected visitor in their outdoor pool — a deer that had fallen through the plastic cover and was unable to climb out. Pool owner Donna LaForgia told the Staten Island Advance that she noticed a hole in the cover early that morning, and then saw the deer’s head pop up; it may have tried walking across the cover, which then tore under the deer’s weight, LaForgia said. The animal was struggling but unable to clamber through a small gap near the pool’s edge. After LaForgia and her family rolled back the cover and retreated away from the pool, the deer made a successful bid for freedom and bolted away.
“A jarring rescue”
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) in Tampa, Florida, responded to a situation on Oct. 17 in the District One office parking lot, involving a raccoon with its head stuck in a plastic bottle. Video of the incident, shared by the HCSO on Facebook, showed the distressed raccoon roaming around in circles; “the animal was scared and confused, running into the parking stops and curb,” according to the post. The raccoon eventually climbed a tree, and deputies were able to shake it down into a sheet and remove the container. HCSO representatives called the episode “a jarring rescue” on Facebook.
After a coyote was struck by a vehicle on Nov. 18 in Whiteside County, Illinois, the driver called the sheriff’s department to report that the animal was stuck in the vehicle’s bumper. Deputies and representatives of the Whiteside County Animal Control freed the coyote, which was not seriously injured, and brought it to a location away from the road, the sheriff’s office reported on Facebook. “In my 20 years of service, I have never seen anything like this,” Whiteside County Sgt. Mike Bauer said in the post.
A nose for trouble
A very small opening at the bottom of a stucco wall proved irresistible to a curious dog on Oct. 9 in Mesa, Arizona. Unfortunately for the canine, after it jammed its snout through the hole it was unable to pull its head back out, United Press International reported. A neighbor heard the dog’s cries and alerted the Mesa Fire and Medical Department, who were able to swiftly extract the dog, which was scared but otherwise unharmed, the department wrote on Facebook.