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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — It was quite the adventure trying to rescue a raccoon found stuck atop a light pole on Route 146 Tuesday, according to Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) spokesperson Mike Healey.
Healey said the raccoon was first spotted dangling above the highway near Branch Avenue, wedged between the two lamps at the top of the pole.
The DEM was told by Rhode Island State Police that the raccoon “had been up there all day,” according to Healey, though it’s unclear how it ended up in that predicament.
Healey said the environmental officer who initially responded realized quickly that she couldn’t get the raccoon down by herself, and contacted the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) for assistance.
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The environmental officer quickly taught a RIDOT worker how to use a snare device, who then ascended in a bucket truck to retrieve the raccoon. Troopers stopped traffic briefly on both sides of the highway amid the daring rescue.
Within 15 minutes, Healey said the raccoon was back on all four paws.
The RIDOT worker released the raccoon from the snare on the side of the highway. Healey said the raccoon “bolted toward Branch Avenue” shortly upon sticking the landing.
“Presumably to get a pizza and a beer after its ordeal,” Healey quipped.
“On the one hand, it’s comical exerting so much effort over a raccoon,” he continued. “On the other hand, if it were to fall off the light pole and land on somebody’s windshield, that could’ve caused a big accident.”
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